WASHINGTON - Airline passengers are about to pay more for security screening.
Following orders from Congress, on July 21, the Transportation Security Administration will raise the fee to $5.60 each way. That's up from $2.50 each way for a nonstop flight and $5 for a trip including connections.
Trips with long stopovers -- more than four hours on most domestic travel -- will have bigger increases because each leg will trigger a new fee.
Congress approved higher TSA fees as part of a December budget deal. Despite protests against the TSA's proposal, Congress dictated that the security fee rise to $5.60.
A spokeswoman for industry trade group Airlines for America says the changes will hurt people in smaller cities who must take more one-way flights to get where they're going.
The higher fees, which have been slated to help with passenger safety, are expected to generate about $16.9 billion in additional funding over the next 10 years, according to the government.
The money collected will first be used to finance the government deficit before going to security programs according to a statement sent to 7NEWS by a TSA official.
Statement from the TSA:
"As required by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, TSA has submitted an interim final rule to the Federal Register to restructure the September 11th Security Fee. In accordance with Federal Law, the revenue generated from the security fee will be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury. The revenue is to be used to offset TSA costs for providing civil aviation security services, after stipulated amounts are applied to reduction of the Federal deficit."
7NEWS asked Denver based airport security consultant Jeff Price if this will be money will make the skies any safer.
"Will this put more air marshals in the skies, will this put more screeners at the checkpoint, will this pay for better equipment to detect items coming through checkpoints? If money is spent for that, it's money well spent," said Price.
In addition, Congress is considering allowing airports to raise the PFC or Passenger Facility Charge, currently standing at $4.50. Officials from Denver International Airport said it would evaluate whether to raise the fee.
"It's important to note that DIA can't increase the fee without FAA approval," said spokeswoman Julie Smith.