Higher Fees and Taxes to Greet Air Travelers This Summer

By Paul Riegler on 7 July 2014
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Beginning later this month, air travel will get more expensive thanks to increased fees, starting with the federal September 11 security fee that helps fund the operations of the Transportation Security Administration.

As of July 21, the September 11 fee will more than double on many tickets sold after that date.  The fee for a simple domestic non-stop round-trip ticket will increase to $11.20 from $5.  The fee for a one-way ticket will more than double to $5.60 from $2.50 per segment, and trips with layovers longer than four hours will incur multiple fees.

In addition to the higher fee, the $10 cap on such fees will be eliminated so some multi-leg trips with longer layovers could see a substantial fee attached to them.  For a multi-city trip with three stopovers longer than four hours each, the fee will rise from $10 to $22.40, a 124% increase.

On April 1, the United Kingdom increased its Air Passenger Duty, a fee charged to passengers of flights departing the country that uses a banding system that calculates the cost based on the distance between London and the destination country’s capital city.  The APD on a trip from London to Jamaica is £300, or $514.79, and a trip to anywhere in the United States costs £240.  When the fee was introduced almost a decade ago, it cost £5 per person for short-haul flights and £10 for longer ones.  The U.K. government has since said it will decrease the cost of the APD for the longest trips.  By contrast, the United States levies a tax of $17.50 on international departures (and also on international arrivals).

Last week, the incoming CEO of London Heathrow Airport said he wants to increase the aeronautical charge from £20, or $34.29, per passenger, to £24. Airports in the United Kingdom have some of the highest fees and taxes in the world.

Finally, airports in the United States want to raise the Passenger Facility Charge that currently costs passengers up to $4.50 per flight to $8, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection would like to see the Immigration User Fee go from $7 to $9.  The fee, which was first authorized by an act of congress in 1987, increased from $6 to $7 in 2002.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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