I never bothered to look at the details of an airline ticket before.
Today, I was booking a flight, and found the following breakdown of taxes, fees and charges.
Taxes, Fees and Charges
Canada Airport Improvement Fee 20.00
U.S.A Transportation Tax 35.80
U.S Agriculture Fee 5.93
Canada Security Charge 7.94
U.S Passenger Facility Charge 5.33
Canada Goods and Services Tax 20.58
September 11 Security Fee 2.96
U.S.A Immigration User Fee 8.30
Well, the Canada airport improvement fee is a bit high, but the US "transportation tax" is considerably higher.
The dreaded GST that all Canadians loved to hate is there on the high side too.
Among the other nonsensical fees is the "US agriculture fee".
However, the cake goes to the "September 11 Security Fee". Although this is the least from an absolute dollar figure value, it is just mind boggling. Does this fee ensures that we never get a September 11 again? Is it a fee imposed after September 11? For what?
Well, the answer is from the Department of Transportation web site. It is a fee that will be used "to implement new aviation security measures". Also it "will help pay for passenger and baggage screeners, security managers and law enforcement personnel at airports, as well as other aviation security efforts, such as the purchase of explosive detection systems". This added up to $900 million in fiscal year 2002.
Why name it September 11 at all? Why not name it "additional security measures", or "project More Security"?
The answer at least partially is that no one in their right mind would disagree with anything dubbed "September 11". It is only patriotic to support such initiatives, isn't it?