Senate Panel Considers Charging Flyers More For Airport Security

A pat down from the Transportation Security Administration or TSA may now cost you double in fees.

Last week the Senate's purse-keepers approved an increase in airline security fees, which would bump up charges for a round-trip nonstop ticket to $10 from $5.

The airline industry, struggling to offset rising fuel costs, has started charging fees on everything in recent years from checked baggage, in-flight TV and early boarding to a simple pillow or bottle of water. For flyers, that can easily add up to nearly a $100 on top of the cost for the airline ticket.

Airline fees continue to be a political hot potato on Capitol Hill. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been vocal about airlines' practice of charging more for premium seats, meaning families who don't want to pay more often have to sit apart. Schumer has proposed a fee waiver for families who want to sit together.

The Democrat-led Senate Appropriations Committee passed the TSA fee-hike proposal, which is attached to a homeland security measure that funds the TSA.

Supporters of the Senate's TSA-fee hike said it is a way to shift the cost burden onto those who are using the travel system, and away from taxpayers as a whole. They point the finger at airlines, saying that charges for checked luggage, which can cost between $15 and $35 on some airlines, has meant more people are carrying on baggage--and that has increased costs for the TSA, who need to employ more security checkpoint personnel.

Republicans have opposed the fee hike, saying it would hurt the aviation industry and place more burden on family travelers.