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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 03/ 4/2011

More carry-ons costing TSA millions each year

By Associated Press

Choosing to carry luggage onto a plane instead of checking it with an airline might save a few bucks at the ticket counter, but it is costing taxpayers about a quarter-billion dollars a year.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress this week that luggage fees have prompted more passengers to hold onto their bags. That means more items for Transportation Security Administration officers to inspect at security checkpoints, at a cost of about $260 million annually.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the chairwoman of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security, asked Napolitano whether airlines should help make up for some of the extra costs.

Without commenting on the question of airlines paying more, Napolitano said an increase in airport security fees - passengers pay up to $5 for each one-way ticket - would bring her department about $600 million more a year.

By Associated Press  | March 4, 2011; 8:00 AM ET
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Stick it to the traveler, AGAIN! The airlines pass those fees on to the traveler which is why the checked baggage fees added some $5 Billion in revenue to the airlines bottom dollar. If TSA wants to increase the fees, them make the airlines pay for it, not the traveler.

Posted by: jonesxx | March 4, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Passengers' bags don't cost the TSA a dime. It's our tax dollars, and never was the TSA's money to begin with.

We entrust our taxes to the Federal Government under the understanding that it will be managed wisely, and used for the public good.

I suggest Janet Napolitano reallocate some of the billions she and her white collar criminal cronies in Washington DC have earmarked for equipment to irradiate unwilling citizens. That money could be slightly better spent on more goons to root through citizens carry on luggage.

Of course, if we really wanted to trim the deficit, restore citizen's Constitutional rights and regain our national pride, we'd eliminate the DHS.

Posted by: ElizabethConley | March 4, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow! The ignorant comments and convoluted logic just keeps pouring from DHS and TSA. The logical question for Napolitano is how is screening different for a carry-on than for a checked piece of luggage? What's the time difference? Ms. Napolitano is a life-long government bureaucrat that is out-of-touch with hard working law abiding Americans. What Napolitano is really saying, if the TSA found something in your checked luggage, they would just discard without asking any questions. In other words, the TSA will continue to treat the American taxpayer with total disrespect.

I am sure DHS and TSA could find creative ways to save money if they had leadership that were displayed any sort of intelligence. It's obvious to anyone paying attention that Ms. Napolitano and Mr. Pistole are not effective leaders.

Ms. Napolitano should be explaining why the TSA has not issued the radiation inspection reports that were requested by Congress in December 2010. Unfortunately our elected officials seem much less concerned about American taxpayer health than they do about looking for additional ways to tax us.

Posted by: FrequentTravler | March 4, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

They don't have to fondle your toothpaste if you check it.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | March 4, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this right your going to charge me more money to inconvenience me further in the name of an exceptionally improbable threat.

Just reduce the security process, if a plane blows up, then you say I'm wrong and charge me the fee. Until we get there, we're over doing it.

Posted by: DCSNARK | March 4, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Since when did the TSA gain authority to levy finance charges or require airports to bow to their demands for revenue?

TSA now that it is union really doesn't have to do the job it was suppose to be created for. You can't fire them now; you can't get them to be more efficient; you can't even get them to prevent box cutters from getting on an airplane. What good are they except to be a thorn in the side of honest taxpayers who fly occasionally.

Posted by: lhudson828 | March 4, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Dumb and Dumber has just landed at your nearest airport. They are discuised as TSA agents but now they are really revenue generating arms of homeland security and the Obama administration. Now that they are unionized you can't fire them; they don't have to do their jobs more efficiently; they just have to show up, allow boxcutters on airplanes and be repremanded. TSA is now the creative finance arm of the Obama Admin in the drive to make sure every last American is broke and on the road to a standard of living equal to third world countries.

Posted by: lhudson828 | March 4, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, so now these clowns who can't catch a guy with a bag full of box cutters, or even detect a gun that they KNOW is there in their own test, even when given several chances, want to charge us more money for their incompetent fumbling? Maybe if they hadn't wasted millions of dollars on virtual strip-search machines that can't even find a known gun in their own agent's pants, in order to line the pockets of politicians who own the companies that make the machines, they'd still have most of their budget intact. What needs to happen is to have the entire agency dismantled and design a new screening process around the Israeli model, with trained professionals instead of McDonalds' rejects.

Posted by: Rob29 | March 5, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Can TSA negotiate a bulk discount with the airlines for $5 for the first bag vs. the $25 the airlines are charging? Then more bags would get checked and wouldn't incur the same level of inspection from TSA.

Posted by: AlanEisen | March 5, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

What a sickening display of arrogance. She presides over an organization that abuses citizens, molests children, steals from passengers and participates in drug trafficking and now she wants us to pay more for this disservice.

She and Pistole should be held accountable for these crimes, not rewarded for them.

Posted by: fisher1949 | March 5, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

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