(Photo: Departure Gates via Shutterstock)
Your plane tickets are about to get a little more expensive.
A TSA fee hike goes into effect at the end of this month. In a few weeks, the September 11 Security Fee will rise from $2.50 for one-way flights (with a cap at $10 roundtrip) and $5 each way for trips with connections, to $5.60 per one-way flight. The cap will be no more.
Under the new rule, fees for direct round-trip flights will jump from $5 to $11.20.
The way the TSA applies the fees to airfares will get slightly more complex, too. For domestic flights, the TSA will charge $5.60 for each flight leg that occurs more than four hours following a previous leg. For international flights and flights to Hawaii and Alaska, the same rule applies for legs that are 12 hours apart. This means that flights with long layovers, which would have previously counted as single one-way trips, will get taxed doubly. So a round-trip flight with two four-hour connections would cost an additional $22.40 in security fees.
These changes were enacted in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, and they officially go into effect at 12 a.m. Eastern Time on July 21. But if you buy your tickets before July 21, you won't have to pay the higher fees, no matter when you're flying.
Annoyed? Angry? Happy to foot the bill for backscatters and pat-downs? No matter what you're thinking, you still have time to give the government your two cents. According to the Federal Register notice on the rule:
"You may submit comments, identified by the TSA docket number to this rulemaking, to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS), a government-wide, electronic docket management system, using any one of the following methods: Electronically: You may submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov."
Americans have until August 19 to sound off.
Read the original story: TSA Fee Hike Set to Raise Prices on All U.S. Flights by Caroline Costello, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.
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