(KYTX) - Monday kicked off yet another hike in plane ticket prices, but this time, the airlines are not to blame.
The culprit is higher security fees. Congress approved them late last year to help balance the federal budget, and fund the Transportation Security Administration. So now, the typical security fee tacked onto your ticket price is doubling.
East Texan Howard Kline's job in the packaging industry has him flying across the country every week. As a frequent flyer, he knows how much ticket prices have spiked in the past few years.
"With different airlines combining and stuff, it's an issue. I think anybody will tell you it's an issue," Kline says.
Now, there's yet another one. But don't point your finger at the airlines. This time, the hike comes in the form of security fees.
Since 2002, U.S. airports have added a charge to tickets, called the "September 11 Security Fee". Last year, congress agreed to increase that fee to help balance the federal budget and fund the transportation security administration.
The size of the fee increase depends on your itinerary. Those booking non-stop flights will see some of the biggest price hikes, with the security fee going from $2.50 to $5.60 each way, or from $5 to $11.20 round trip, a 124 percent jump.
Lots of travelers, politicians, even members of the airline industry are furious about the hike, but some, like Kline have taken a different approach.
"It's not upsetting. It's just part of it, the times that we live in," he says.
Kline says funding the organization that helps protect us from dangers like terrorism is worth it.
"We know it's going on all over the world, we hope it's not in our backyard, and now we pay whatever we need to keep us safe I suppose," he says.
He says in this situation, he's choosing peace of mind over his pocketbook.
TSA is facing a lot of complaints from politicians and nonprofit groups who say the organization has misinterpreted how much it can now charge. There are people from both political parties trying to fight this right now. Democratic Senator Patty Murray, and Republican Representative Paul Ryan both have written the TSA demanding an explanation as to why the hike is so high.