That TSA Fee Hike? It Just Upped The Cost Of Your Plane Ticket
Each time I get my boarding pass, I feverishly search for a TSA Pre marker, hoping that I'll get to get through security in a hassle-free fashion. As I was coming back from Philadelphia last week, it finally happened. But with a TSA fee hike that went into effect Monday, I now realize that the whole thing was a dirty scam to make me forgive the TSA for making my flights more expensive.
It wasn't even printed on my ticket. But as I was heading through the line, they pulled me aside and told me to go through a much shorter line. No shoeless shuffling. No laptop out of my bag and in a separate tray. Only a quick swab of my hands — which I assume was a check for magical unicorn dust — and then I was on my way.
But as the TSA fee doubles more than doubles, zooming from $2.50 (or $5 for a connecting flight) to $5.60 for all flights, I realize it was all a guise. They wanted me to look the other way. And it almost worked as I passed right through security and wanted to give all of them my best queen wave. But I see what you did there, TSA.
Additionally, if your layover is more than four hours, you will be charged $5.60 for both flights. As if long layovers weren't bad enough. The least you could do is give me a coupon or something for terminal beers.
If $5.60 doesn't sound like much, just know that your current ways of avoiding pricier tickets could be thwarted by the new fee. As NBC News reports, the new, uncapped fees could add up for multiple-city fliers or extended layovers, which aren't out of the ordinary for cheaper airlines. As they note, if you flew round trip with a 4+ hour layover in Chicago, Las Vegas, or Dallas both ways, your TSA fee would be $22.40.
And okay, the hike isn't completely just cruel and unusual. You'll be happy to know that your increased expenses is going toward decreasing the federal deficit! The TSA estimated that its increased fees could raise $16.9 billion, even though Congress approved the increase to gain $12.6 billion.
But you can imagine how cheap I felt after saving that extra 20 minutes and thinking, "Well, the TSA isn't that bad after all!" All the times that I'd grumbled about crazy waits, grumpy employees, and walking barefoot through the screening area seemed to melt away. TSA has a funny Instagram account, I thought. They think I'm special. They let me through.
Well, I see through you now. And if you think that this girl can be bought by one TSA Pre experience, you're dead wrong.
...but maybe three or four more and I'll stop noticing those increased fees (as much). Just saying.