The $5.60 Passenger Fee Earned the TSA Nearly $4 Billion Last Year
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Since 2002, the Transportation Security Administration has been collecting the Passenger Fee (also known colloquially as the “September 11 Fee”) from passengers at the time of the initial ticket purchase. The fee was first established to strengthen airport travel security following the 9/11 attacks.
“The revenue generated from these security fees is utilized to help ensure the safe and efficient flow of people and commerce,” states the official TSA website.
The fee, which is currently at $5.60 for one-way trips and $11.20 for round-trip, has generated tons of revenue for the TSA. The agency has released its annual data on how much it’s collecting via the fee each fiscal year — and the total might surprise you. In 2017, the TSA collected nearly $4 billion in passenger fees.
The chart shows a steadily increasing pattern throughout the past 15 years, with a nearly $2 million jump to $3,882,602,000 in the past year. It seems a majority of offsetting collections are going to “aviation security expenses,” which include “background investigations, training, salaries, and benefits for the federal security screeners and law enforcement personnel, to TSA PreCheck and Known Crewmember programs to the Federal Air Marshals Service, to security-related capital improvements at airports, as well as the costs of security training for pilots and flight attendants and federal flight deck officers,” according to the TSA website. The rest is allotted to “offsetting aviation security collections.”
Featured image by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees