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Airlines Lobby to Defeat Proposed Increase in Security Fee

Airlines are lobbying against a proposed increase in the aviation security fee that travelers pay.

The proposal to raise the so-called 9/11 Security Fee from $2.50 to $5 per segment has bipartisan support, with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle reportedly looking to increase revenue with automatic cuts in discretionary spending looming in January.

Airline trade group Airlines for America said that it was greeting passengers — including members of Congress arriving at Washington Reagan National Airport after the Thanksgiving break — with leaflets and air sickness bags with the message “Are higher taxes on air travel making you sick?”

The trade group urged passengers to contact their congressional representatives and the Obama administration to protest the new tax.

“Airline passengers already pay more than their fair share in taxes to the federal government,” said Nicholas Calio, president and CEO of Airlines for America. “It’s unreasonable and unnecessary for budget negotiators to be looking to squeeze any more out of an already overtaxed industry and their customers. We understand the difficulty of the challenge they are trying to meet, but respectfully suggest they look elsewhere to plug the budget hole.”

The Global Business Travel Association also called on Congress to reject the tax. Michael McCormick, executive director and COO of the GBTA, said that the proposed tax would come on top of what he said was already a 20% tax burden on the average $300 round trip fare. He said such costs have a chilling effect on air travel.

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