Budget deal wins broad bipartisan support

The reality is most of us will open our wallets wider for convenient and comfortable air travel, which gets us from Point A to Point B in a safe and efficient manner


 Have you heard? Congress struck a bipartisan budget deal last week. Though there are no broad-based tax increases, this legislation will generate millions in new revenue from American taxpayers.

Those who travel on commercial airliners are some of the hardest hit, writes one blogger. This blogger then rails against nickel-and-diming the American taxpayer and charges that the fee will slash consumer travel.

I don’t see it that way.

Don’t get me wrong. Yes, it bugs me that there is yet another fee to pay when I travel. But realistically, that fee isn’t enough to keep me home bound.

The passenger security fee increases from $2.50 per one-way trip to $5.60 per one way trip. In 2012, this fee generated approximately $1.8 billion and offset approximately 20 percent of the TSA’s $8 billion budget.

The airlines are crying foul, too, also claiming a hike in fares will discourage travel. This statement seems ironic given that those same airlines charge bag fees from $25-$75, non-refundable ticket change fees up to $150, early-bird boarding fees of $40, and seat selection fees at $30. Fees people—myself included—are more than willing to pay. Would you pay $100 for a wider seat (a new fee being proposed)? I think I speak for many of us when I say: Heck ya!

The reality is we have shown that we will open our wallets wider for convenient and comfortable air travel, which gets us from Point A to Point B in a safe and efficient manner. Doubling the TSA fees attached to a round trip ticket won’t keep us on the ground anymore than having to pay for an aisle seat.

Were there other ways the government could have come up with the money it needed? For sure! There are always other solutions if one looks. Should the airlines be hit with these fee instead of the American public? That would seem more fair than picking the pockets of the Joe Taxpayer.

But I think it's folly to use the argument that the American public will stop traveling because of these fees. Because the reality is: We won't.