Biden administration accused of charging $2,000 and more for evacuation flights from Afghanistan
A report alleges the Biden administration is charging U.S. citizens up to $2,000 for evacuation flights out of Afghanistan.
As The Daily Wire reveals, a Thursday report alleged that President Joe Biden’s administration was charging U.S. citizens up to $2,000 for evacuation flights from Afghanistan and even more for non-citizens.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) August 19, 2021
Although U.S. officials claimed evacuation flights from Kabul will be free of charge, people attempting to catch a plane in the Afghan capital say differently, as disclosed by Politico. The newsfeed platform states:
“One person said State Department staff were seeking large payments — up to $2,000 — from American passengers and even more from non-U.S. citizens.”
A spokesperson representing the State Department responded to the accusations, without denying them:
“U.S. law requires that evacuation assistance to private U.S. citizens or third country nationals be provided ‘on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable. The situation is extremely fluid, and we are working to overcome obstacles as they arise.”
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) claimed she was creating legislation to ban the U.S. government from charging Americans for the flights.
In a Twitter post, Congresswoman Tenney stated:
“We should not be making Americans pay for their ride to safety. I’m drafting legislation now to PROHIBIT the US government from charging Americans, period.”
Biden created this crisis, now he wants to charge Americans who are desperately fleeing the Taliban? That’s wrong. We should not be making Americans pay for their ride to safety. I’m drafting legislation now to PROHIBIT the US government from charging Americans, period. https://t.co/urYL9GYIfh
— Congresswoman Tenney (@RepTenney) August 19, 2021
Meanwhile, State Department Spokesman Ned Price told the Daily Caller that the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.”
However, in a security alert issued on Saturday, the State Department said:
“Repatriation flights are not free, and passengers will be required to sign a promissory loan agreement and may not be eligible to renew their U.S. passports until the loan is repaid.”
“The cost may be $2,000USD or more per person.”
NEW: The Biden admin is STILL informing Americans in Afghanistan as of this evening they may have to pay more than $2,000 for an evacuation flight out of the country despite the State Dept telling the press hours ago that they would not
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 20, 2021
As per The Washington Examiner, a separate State Department webpage related to crisis situations states the following:
“In extreme situations, if there are no commercial transportation options (planes, trains, boats/ferries, etc.) available, and if we have consular officers at the embassy or consulate, and if the conditions permit, we may help U.S. citizens seeking to depart by working with the host government, other countries, and other U.S. government agencies to identify – and in some cases arrange – available transportation.
Regardless of the method of transportation, or who provides it, U.S. citizens (and others who are eligible for U.S. government assistance) are generally responsible for reimbursing the government for the cost of their travel.”
BREAKING: State Department appears to backtrack, says no reimbursements will be sought from US citizens fleeing Afghanistan after reporting said they were being asked to pay $2,000 or more for a flight out of Kabul.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 19, 2021
Giving an answer to the question: “Will the U.S. government pay for my evacuation if it is needed?” the page says:
“No. U.S. law requires that the assisted evacuation of private U.S. citizens or third country nationals be provided ‘on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable.’
However, we do understand that you may not be able to access your own money during a crisis. For evacuation transportation that we arrange to transport you out of a crisis location, you do not have to pay before you board. To board these transports, you will need to complete and sign a form promising to repay the U.S. government.
You are also responsible for the costs you may incur in the destination, including hotel, food, clothing, medication, and other necessities.
Emergency financial assistance in the form of a loan may be available to U.S. citizens who are unable to pay for their onward travel to the United States.”