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Federal security charge for flights adds to fare costs

Grand Forks International Airport

One of the federal fees tacked on to the price of plane tickets is increasing by more than 100 percent on Monday.

According to an announcement on the Transportation Security Administration website, the September 11 Security Fee will increase to $5.60 for most international and domestic flights. Additionally, a $10 cap on that fee for round-trip flights that has been in place is also being eliminated.

But Bonnie Rygg-Haley, President of Bon Voyage Travel in Grand Forks, said the change isn’t affecting her business.

“What are you going to do?” she said. “You can complain, but it’s not going to change anything.”

The fee was increased as a result of a budget act approved by Congress seven months ago.

Grand Forks International Airport Executive Director Patrick Dame also said he hadn't heard any negative feedback from the public, as they aren’t on the front end of selling tickets to customers.

“Anecdotally, when I’m out speaking, people tend to talk about cost differences in flights between airports, but nobody asks about why tickets are going up,” he said.

Matthew Stengl of Stengl Johnson Cruise and Travel said his clients get more upset about larger fees implemented by airlines, like the ones charged for checking bags or changing a ticket, but tend to ignore small tax and fee increases that are government-mandated, like this one.

“It’s a consumer market,” Stengl said. “We’re willing to spend, spend, spend and we’ll just yell at the price afterward.”

The money collected from the fee goes to the TSA, which was created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to ensure passenger safety.

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.

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