Last week, the Senate unanimously voted to recap security fees on airline tickets at $11.20 per round-trip ticket. The measure now sits with President Obama for his signature.
This is a huge win for travelers as it closes an unintentional loophole that was costing road warriors millions of dollars. Road warriors, who are the most frequent travelers, already bear the largest burden of TSA passenger security fees. By voting to keep the cap in place, the Senate has demonstrated its understanding that business travel strengthens the economy, creates jobs and drives economic security. Travel should be promoted.
A year ago, the fee had been $2.50 per leg of a trip, capped at $5 each direction or $10 per round trip. In December 2013, the Murray-Ryan budget deal raised the fee to $5.60 per one-way trip to help reduce the deficit.
Unintentionally, this allowed TSA to interpret the fee as applying to each leg of a flight with no cap, resulting in fees of $20 or more for those with layovers longer than four hours, especially impacting business travelers who travel multiple legs on a single trip.
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), the chair of the House Homeland Security Transportation Subcommittee, introduced a bi-partisan-supported bill reinstating the cap on passenger security taxes, which unanimously passed in the House (423-0).
By unanimously passing in the Senate as well, the loophole will soon be closed. GBTA is grateful Congress understands that continued tax increases are not the answer to our nation’s security concerns. We need more efficient, less costly, risk-based screening programs and tighter fiscal controls.
This was a key part of our annual Legislative Symposium this past June. Attendees voiced their concern on the measure in meetings with their representatives and asked them to take swift action. In a fiercely divided Congress, it’s important that constituents – like you – make your voices heard. As you can see, your voice does make a difference.