Monday Feb. 03, 2014 @ 10:21 am By

USA Today did a survey of recent fee prices for all of those fees airlines love to charge you for the “convenience of only paying for what you need”. Or better put, “for services they value and are willing to pay for”. We value? We are willing to pay for? How about we need and are forced to pay for?

Example of some airline fees:

  • 1st checked bag
  • 2nd checked bag
  • carry on bag
  • make a reservation by phone
  • make a reservation by web
  • make a reservation at all
  • pick a seat
  • get assigned a seat
  • getting a seat at all
  • oversized bag
  • overweight bag
  • oversized + overweight bag (yes they do this double dip)
  • Priority boarding
  • ticket change domestic
  • ticket change international
  • Premier Access (priority check-in and boarding privileges)
  • Frequent-flier award ticket (to use YOUR FF award points)
  • Buy miles or points

Some current fee amounts:

  • Delta Air Lines charges $400 to change a ticket on some international flights — a $150 increase over its most-expensive flight-change fee in 2011
  • American Airlines charges $450 for an overweight checked bag weighing 71 to 100 pounds for some international flights, while such a bag on United Airlines’ international flights and Hawaiian Airlines’ Asian flights costs $400.
  • The most expensive fees for a single checked bag are those of Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air. Spirit charges $100 for a bag that must be checked in at an airport gate, and Allegiant charges $75 for a bag checked in at an airport for a Hawaii flight.
  • Spirit charges $25 for a phone booking and nothing for an online booking, but has an additional charge of $100 for booking within six days of departure.
  • US Airways charges $90 to book on the phone an award ticket for an international flight. Fliers who book online are charged $50 for a Hawaii or international flight.

According to their research, the 15 U.S. airlines reported revenues of $2.6 billion from baggage fees ALONE and $2.1 billion from reservation-change fees ONLY during the first three quarters of 2013. They reported, which is rather interesting, that their focused only on fees applicable to most coach passengers. There are a myriad of other fees that apply to first-class passengers. They also reported, shockingly, that some fees are difficult to find or are missing on airline Web pages, and terms of some others are vague or incomplete.


Photo: By Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY

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