February 02, 2005

A possible increase in federal security fees paid by airline passengers has generated complaints from business travel advocates such as the National Business Travel Association and the Business Travel Coalition. Under President Bush's spending proposal for the Department of Homeland Security, the security fee would jump from $2.50 to $5.50 for a one-way airline ticket; the maximum fee for a multiple-leg trip would be hiked from $5 to $8. "An additional tax levied against price-sensitive passengers and businesses just as the aviation industry is beginning to recover from the toughest period in its history is not only unfair but reckless," said Carol A. Devine, CCTE, president and CEO of the NBTA. "NBTA believes that travel security is national security and should be funded by the government." Similarly, BTC chairman Kevin Mitchell said: "DHS is apparently either unaware of the anemic airline industry pricing environment, or does not understand the economics of the industry. In either case, this latest proposed major tax burden could have devastating consequences for the airlines."