Accessories, Budget

President Hopes to Raise Enplanement Fees

February 26, 2015 by

Airline Fees

The President’s 2016 proposed budget is out and, in it, he proposes to increase enplanement fees from $4.50 to $8.00, and while no one wants to see increases in airline fees, the travel industry applauds his suggestion.

The reason President Barack Obama wants the increase in charges is to fund updates to the nation’s air travel infrastructure.

Baggage fees

Not a New Fee

This airport user fee is not new. What he proposes is to raise the amount of the current fee levied on travelers when they purchase an airline ticket. The proceeds would go toward airport improvements including runways and baggage systems.

Where Airline Ticket Fees Go

Airline fees are subject to change. The sad truth is that they don’t change to be less, but keep increasing, and new fees added to keep up with regulations.

Remember the days when you checked bags and that was that, and then we started paying fees for overweight bags, and then we started paying for more than one bag?

And now, in many cases, we pay for all checked bags. People started fitting all they could into carryons, but they are limited in size, too, with maximum dimensions of 19in. x 15in. x 11in.

Some airlines have even targeted carryons with fees. The reason is to keep fares down, but that circular thinking is like the snake swallowing its tail. The bottom line is still the bottom line.

Baggage Pickeup

Types of Fees

Fees you can expect to pay on top of the cost of your ticket include:

  • Federal Excise Tax: A federal excise tax of 7.5% is charged on airfare.
  • Passenger Facility Charges: PFCs may apply depending on your itinerary and cost up to $18.00 USD.
  • Segment Fee: A fee of up to $4.00 USD which applies per flight segment. (Defined as one takeoff and one landing).
  • September 11th Security Fee: This fee applies per one-way flight. An additional fee can be assessed if the itinerary includes a layover or stopover of longer than four hours domestically, or 12 hours internationally, or to/from Alaska and Hawaii. This is the fee President Obama plans to raise to $8.00.
  • U.S. or International Departure and Arrival Charges:  U.S. or international government imposed taxes and fee of up to $200.00 USD may apply depending on itinerary.
  • Baggage fees: Baggage fees come in a variety of charges from carryons, to first checked, second checked, and additional bags, and oversized bags.
  • Shipping and handling fees: Some travel companies/agents may impose shipping and/or handling fees if you request paper tickets.
  • Itinerary Changes/Cancellations/Refunds: Some carriers may charge for itinerary changes, if they are permitted. Change fees can be as much as $200.00 USD but will vary.
  • Visa Fees: Attaining a tourist visa from countries outside the United States are generally not included in a flight package pricing, and could show up on your ticket. Check with your travel provider or Department of State for more information.

While no one looks forward to paying more, the President’s goal is to “make the critical investments needed to accelerate and sustain economic growth in the long run, including research, education, training, and infrastructure.”

Photo credits: koalabear888



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