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Air Security Efforts Could Pinch Passengers

WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama told Americans who was to blame for the Christmas Day air security lapse and how he intends to fix it. Consumers will figure out the cost soon enough.

Since the failed attempt to blow up Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines Flight 253, security has been tightened and Obama has called for increased intelligence sharing and analysis, and enhanced technology. The Transportation Safety Administration says 28 passengers were arrested between Dec. 27 and Jan. 3 after investigations of suspicious behavior or document fraud. There were also 24 checkpoint closures, terminal evacuations or breaches; 12 guns seized at checkpoints; and four "artfully concealed" contraband items.

A passenger in Miami who was pulled off a plane for saying "I want to kill all the Jews," a three-year-old whose Play-Doh was confiscated by the TSA in New Orleans; a lax security guard and kissing couple that shut down Newark Liberty Airport; and a German man who was detained in Stuttgart, Germany, for joking about a bomb in his underwear have each been treated with the same gravity. So who's most affected by this increased vigilance?

Airlines: Before the botched Christmas Day attack, it cost airlines $14 per flight and more than $100 million a year to transfer passenger information to the Department of Homeland Security and other authorities, according to the International Air Transport Association. With the Transportation Safety Administration implementing its Secure Flight passenger vetting system nationwide over the next few months and Washington calling for increased data sharing, that price tag may increase.

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