Airline ticket prices increase today

Theoretically, you should be twice as safe on an airplane today now that the tax — I’m sorry, “fee” — for providing security  is doubling.

Good one.

It turns out — you might want to sit down for this — that it’s merely a money grab.  Comparatively little of the extra money is going toward airline security. It’s part of an agreement in Congress to divert the money to reducing the federal deficit.

The fee increases from $2.50 to $5.60 for non-connecting flights. The total cost of a round trip with a connecting flight will approach $25.

“Anyway you look at it, this is an increase in taxes,” said Charlie Leocha, chairman of the consumer group Travelers United, tells the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

It could be worse, the Wall St. Journal notes. The U.K., for example, charges economy-class passengers $166 for security.

The fee will raise about $12.6 billion a year to pay down the debt.

Assuming the national debt doesn’t increase, that money will wipe it out in only 139,659 years.