As if airline passengers didn’t have enough grief flying these days, what with all the surcharges and bomb scares, now there’s a chance that more fees and taxes will be added on to the bill. This time around though, the government is more to blame than the airlines.
The New York Times reports that travelers should expect to feel an added sting when flying internationally. Congress recently passed new legislation that will force foreigners from dozens of countries to pay an additional 10 bucks if they don’t need to buy a visa (if you’re a foreigner visiting the US for a short period from a number of countries, you aren't required to get a visa.) The goal, counter-intuitively, is to ‘promote travel to America.’ Meanwhile, other countries are increasing their own fees on international travelers to “pay for security, airport improvements, customs inspections, tourism promotions and environmental concerns.”
But even Americans just traveling domestically in the U.S. may have to contend with higher prices.
As the New York Times reports, “One proposal would raise the maximum passenger facility charge that airports can collect to $7 from the current $4.50 per flight segment (still on the table). Another would increase the $2.50 federal security fee (budgeted to go up by $1 a flight in 2012). And a third would raise by 50 cents the $5 animal and plant health inspection fee paid by passengers arriving in the United States (an idea withdrawn last year).”No, these add-ons won’t bankrupt you, but when you take into account that we’ve been asked to pay for baggage fees, seat reservation fees and even forking up money for a blanket and pillow, only to end up with one horrible flight experience after another, each extra dollar feels unjustified.
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