What others say: No new fee

  • By Ketchikan Daily News editorial
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 10:06am
  • Opinion

Taxes and other fees for an airline ticket between Ketchikan and Seattle are approaching 10 percent of the price.

A roundtrip, coach flight price two weeks ago amounted to $562.01 for an April 1 weekend trip. Taxes and fees came to $55.39, just under 9 percent of the entire ticket of $617.40.

During this time of year and most of the year, only one airline provides the service. About the only other way to get to Seattle from here is an approximately 36-hour ride aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry to Bellingham, Washington, and then a two-hour drive into Seattle.

Ketchikan, compared to much of the Lower 48, is isolated. It’s choice of transportation is limited, and, even then, the competition is non-existent most of the time.

This is the situation for the fourth largest city in Alaska. For smaller, more isolated communities, it costs much more to go to the city.

Adding even what might be considered a small amount to any of these prices is significant to Alaska travelers. A little here, a little there, and it amounts to real money.

Congressman Don Young is well aware of this, especially with the Bush Alaska travel circumstances. Not only does he travel into the Bush to carry out his duties, but he lived and worked in the Bush before election.

Young has joined Hawaii’s representatives in sponsoring a measure to exempt both states and Essential Air Service communities from increases in air travel fees for the Transportation Security Administration.

The Passenger Fee Restructuring Exemption Act would lower Alaska and Hawaii’s TSA fee to $2.50 for interstate direct flights.

Congress set the fee at $5.60 in 2013, and the Trump administration is seeking an increase in the fiscal 2018 budget.

An increase disproportionately affects travelers in Alaska, Hawaii and EAS communities, some of which are in the Lower 48 and located more than 100 miles away from an airport. It only adds a higher fee to a ticket likely to be higher than in the other states.

And, as is often the case when prices are higher, it affects business and the economy. Higher TSA fees are detrimental to an industry on which both Alaska and Hawaii depend — tourism.

Security is invaluable. Alaskans and Hawaiians appreciate it and willingly will pay a fair fee for that. But that fee shouldn’t be such that it begins to impede commerce and unfairly increase the cost of travel, especially for Alaskans.

— Ketchikan Daily News,

April 1

More in Opinion

Promise garden flowers are assembled for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Let’s keep momentum in the fight against Alzheimer’s

It’s time to reauthorize these bills to keep up our momentum in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other types of Dementia.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., questions Navy Adm. Lisa Franchetti during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 14 on Capitol Hill.
Opinion: Music to the ears of America’s adversaries

Russia and China have interest in seeing America’s democracy and standing in the world weakened

Dr. Sarah Spencer. (Photo by Maureen Todd and courtesy of Dr. Sarah Spencer)
Opinion: Alaskans needs better access to addiction treatment. Telehealth can help.

I have witnessed firsthand the struggles patients face in accessing addiction care

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Need for accounting and legislative oversight of the permanent fund

There is a growing threat to the permanent fund, and it is coming from the trustees themselves

(Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Imagine the cost of health and happiness if set by prescription drug companies

If you didn’t have heartburn before seeing the price, you will soon — and that requires another prescription

Mike Arnold testifies in opposition to the use of calcium chloride by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities on Kenai Peninsula roads during a Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Votes: Civic actions that carried weight

Watching an impressive display of testimony, going to an event, or one post, can help so many people learn about something they were not even aware of

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Helicopter fishing a detriment to fish and fishers

Proposal would prohibit helicopter transport for anglers on southern peninsula

The cover of the October 2023 edition of Alaska Economic Trends magazine, a product of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. (Image via department website)
Dunleavy administration’s muzzling of teacher pay report is troubling

Alaska Economic Trends is recognized both in Alaska and nationally as an essential tool for understanding Alaska’s unique economy

Image via weseeyou.community
5 tips for creating a culture of caring in our high schools

Our message: No matter what challenges you’re facing, we see you. We support you. And we’re here for you.

The Alaska State Capitol is photographed in Juneau, Alaska. (Clarise Larson/Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Vance’s bill misguided approach to Middle East crisis

In arguing for her legislation, Vance offers a simplistic, one-dimensional understanding of the conflict

A rainbow appears over downtown as residents check out rows of electric vehicles at Juneau’s EV & E-bike Roundup on Sept. 23. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: We should all pay more for the privilege of driving

Alaska has the lowest gas tax in the country

Opinion: Sports saves

ASAA has decided to take a vulnerable subgroup of these youth and reinforce that they are different and unwelcome