Southwest, others, lose challenge to lower screening fees

Southwest Airlines and 19 other airlines have lost a court challenge claiming that airlines are being overcharged by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration for screening passengers since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The U.S. appeals court in Washington ruled that fees put in place after the attacks were reasonable, according to a Bloomberg News report. Airlines’ portion of the fees are capped at the 2000 rate for airport screening before it was taken over by the U.S. government.

The airlines said the government’s estimate that $420 million was spent in 2000 to screen passengers and property was too high, and that their study put the cost at $305 million.

The appeals court, which earlier sent the case back to the lower court for further investigation of the costs, said the “TSA adequately considered the submissions of dueling experts.”

Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King told Bloomberg News the carrier is reviewing the decision and considering its options.


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