Fees for airline travel could be taking off - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Fees for airline travel could be taking off

(WFLX) - Fasten your seatbelts. Fees for airline travel could be taking off.

If President Obama gets his way, you will soon be paying more for access to the increasingly expensive skies.

Obama proposed $26 billion in new airline and passenger fees over 10 years to shift more of the cost of airport security and traffic control from the government to users, and for $15 billion in deficit reduction.

Right now, passengers pay a maximum fee of $10 per round trip ticket to support airport security. The administration wants to raise that to $15 by 2017.

And it wants airlines to pay a new departure surcharge of $100 per plane per flight. That's not much for a jumbo jet, but maybe a lot for small plane.

The airline industry is fighting the proposals saying they could result in higher ticket prices, less service and fewer workers. "Airlines and our passengers are already paying too much in taxes: $61 of every $300 round-trip ticket goes to federal taxes and fees," said Nick Calio, Air Transport Association. "This industry lost $55 billion and 160,000 jobs over one-third of its total work force in the last 10 years."

The administration says that after 9/11, Washington intended that passengers pay for all of the price for more airport security, but that Congress has not raised ticket fees since 2001 -- shifting the growing cost to all taxpayers.

Passengers are divided. "Airport security is premium," said one passenger. "It's very important, and, I think, I'm willing to pay for it."

Another passenger had a different opinion. "No, it's not ok! I work hard for my money! Why should I pay more for my travel?"

Top republicans in Congress have rejected the proposals, but the airline industry fears the deficit super committee could find them an attractive target -- especially since fees are not called taxes.

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