Avoid Hidden Airline Fees

Airlines Profit from Fees

With the height of Summer travel season upon us many travelers will be heading to the airport to begin vacations that were planned on a cold and dreary January day.  In 2010, airlines made profits of $5.7 Billion in fees. Here are a few fees that you need to be aware of before you book your next flight:

Fees to Watch Out for Before Traveling

Baggage Fees: Most airlines are now charging a $25 fee for a second bag, JetBlue charges $20 and on Southwest it is free. If you take a third bag it will cost you up to $125 and if any of your bags weigh more than 50 lbs it will cost you $100 per bag, ouch!

Phone Reservations: Airlines are trying to reduce costs by encouraging travelers to book flights through a travel agent or by using one of the many internet travel websites. If you would rather make a reservation over the phone it will cost you a $5 fee at Northwest, $25 at Delta, and free at Southwest.

Fees to Watch out for In-Flight

Premium Economy Seat Fees: Yup, you read that right. Airlines are now charging fees to sit in the first row of economy seats, aisle seats, and even window seats. JetBlue charges a $10-$20 fee for exit row, Northwest charges $5–$75 for aisle, window, exit-row seats near front, while at United exit rows are considered Economy Plus seats: $9–$109. Southwest does not charge for Premium Economy seats. I guess they figured you already paid for that when you purchased your ticket.

Food and Water: Most airlines are now charging anywhere from $2 to $10 for snacks. Continental, Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest offer free snacks. Frugal Toad Tip: Eat before your flight and bring your own snacks.

Sweet Dreams: Remember asking that nice stewardess for a magazine and a nice pillow and blanket to snuggle with? Those days are gone. JetBlue will sell you a pillow and blanket for a mere $7 fee. Oh and you get to keep it!

In-Flight Entertainment: The movies on your flight are free, if you want sound that will cost you. Delta will let you watch The Pee Wee Herman Show on Broadway for a $2 fee, I'm sorry but they should be paying me to watch that! Rumor has it that US Airways will cut all movies from domestic flights this fall, who needs movies. US Airways explains the movie systems weigh 500 lbs and need to be removed to reduce fuel cost. In an unrelated move, I'm sure, US Airways announced it will be installing wifi on some domestic flights and charge $12.95 each way for the service. I wonder how much that wifi receiver weighs?

Do Airline fees make you angry?  Tell me about it, leave a comment.

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