Sure, there was tremendous uproar when Spirit Air announced their plan to charge passengers to have larger carry-on bags on the plane. But what if the TSA, the idiots charged with securing our transportation infrastructure, suggests something similar? Will the same congress-critters who displayed outrage maintain it or will they roll over to the "anything for security" mantra?
It looks like we are all going to find out soon enough. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, testified to congress this week that the costs related to carry-on bags are in the range of $260MM annually because of the need to have TSA agents screening those bags. These are the same agents who are great at spotting bottles of water and apparently not so much at spotting things that are actually arguably dangerous, but that’s a whole different rant.
The Secretary conveniently managed to skip over the part about how there are other agents who are inspecting all the checked baggage; if the bags are checked instead of carried on someone is still going to have to check them. Then again, the checked baggage systems (particularly the new ones) are much more automated and faster, in part because there is more space to work with in those sections of the airport and in part because they’re actually looking for dangerous goods instead of extra large tubes of toothpaste or sunscreen.
The statement from the Secretary was in response to a rather leading question from Senator Mary Landrieu:
Checked bagged fees are increasing, it looks like, the cost to TSA because people don’t want to pay the fees so they are not checking bags and putting more on the planes. My question is, do the taxpayers have to pick up this fee? Or should we be looking at the airlines for some of the profits that they make from these fees to offset the cost the taxpayer.
The Secretary is trying to convince Congress to increase the fees paid by passengers to the tune of $600MM annually. No word yet on what other wasteful projects the spare $340MM will be earmarked for. Apparently the Senator is just looking for a cash-grab.
Our government, hard at work.
- Charges for carry-on bags coming
- Getting called out by a Congressman
- The TSA makes another stupid move
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