[USA] Airlines sue TSA over security fee

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bimjim
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[USA] Airlines sue TSA over security fee

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Jul 31, 2014

http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News ... urity-fee/

[USA] Airlines sue TSA over security fee
Bill Poling
July 30, 2014

Domestic and international airlines went to court this week to challenge the way the Transportation Security Administration is calculating the revised security fee on airline tickets.

In a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Airlines for America and IATA said the TSA is overcharging passengers by not observing congressional intent that the fee be capped.

Under the previous law, the fee was $2.50 per enplanement (or per segment), with a cap of $5 per one-way trip or $10 per roundtrip.

Congress restructured the fee in last year’s budget compromise to $5.60 per one-way trip. TSA put the industry on notice in June that it interpreted the new law to mean there was no longer a cap. That means that on multi-stop itineraries, the fee could be imposed more than two times.

The effect is particularly notable in the case of itineraries with stopovers of four hours or more, which the TSA treats as a break in the journey.

Thus if a passenger has a scheduled connection time of four hours or more, the TSA treats it as two one-ways, subject to two assessments of the $5.60 fee. The airlines claim that this methodology could boost the fee by as much as 236% on some itineraries.

To bolster their case, the airlines cited letters to the administration from the chairs of the Senate and House budget committees and from House Speaker John Boehner that Congress did not intend to eliminate the cap.

The carriers also claim the TSA is improperly applying the tax to the domestic segments of connecting trips that originate outside the U.S. They claim that the fee is intended only to apply “only on trips that originate at American airports.”

The airline filing is the beginning of an appeals process that is often measured in months, sometimes years.

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