Travel Agents To Make Push Against Y500 Airport Security Fee

TOKYO (Nikkei)–The Japan Association of Travel Agents will urge the Ministry of Transport and Tourism to reconsider the planned introduction of the so-called passenger security service fee at Narita international airport.

Narita International Airport Corp. plans to charge 500 yen for each passenger leaving the country or making a transit, starting Nov. 16. The fee is meant to cover costs for installing high-performance detection devices and providing security services at the airport. Such expenses have ballooned after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S.

The association will ask the ministry to forgo the fee or delay the start date to next spring.

Travel agencies are marketing flights and tours through March 2010. But since pamphlets do not mention the fee, they must alert customers about the additional charge by mail or other forms of notice, thus raising their costs.

The organization also cites the difficulty of convincing customers to pay the fee if they have already purchased tours departing on or after Nov. 16.

(The Nikkei Oct. 17 morning edition)

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