Most people really love to travel but really hate airlines. Last time the American Customer Satisfaction Index checked, which was in 2012, four of the most hated companies in America were airlines. Of course airlines provide us the ability to do something that, in many cases, can be accomplished by using an automobile; the ability to travel a long way in a short period.
Airlines know this and, since there aren’t a huge amount of them to choose from, they take advantage of us at every turn. Below are 4 of the worst fees that they have these days, some of which you can avoid and some of which you can’t. Knowing about them will help you to avoid the ones that you can however so, if you’re traveling by plane this summer, make sure to read below and at least avoid some fees and possibly keep others to a minimum. Enjoy.
1) Fees to change your ticket. Southwest Airlines is one of the few that won’t charge you a fee to change your ticket. The rest will charge between $75 to, on Delta Airlines, as much as $450 to change things like departure times and arrival dates. On Delta’s website you’ll also see that, to change your economy class ticket on the same day you purchased it, will cost you $50.
2) Fees to pick your own seat. Of the 14 major and regional airline carriers serving the United States, five actually charge you to select your own seat. The worst of them is Allegiant Travel, who charge $80 to pick your own seat when you make your reservation. In some cases this fee is actually more than the cost of your ticket! Unless you have some sort of real phobia about where you sit, you can skip this feed by simply allowing the airline to pick your seat for you.
3) Fees to book your reservation right at the airport. Booking a flight online is quite simple these days but there are still those who like to do it face to face. Airlines don’t want you to do that and will charge a fee for it, and US Airways will charge you $35-$45 depending on where you’re going. The three exceptions are Southwest Airlines, Frontier, and Air Canada.
4) Luggage fees. This is the one that is most universally hated. A number of years back when airlines realized that their ticket prices alone weren’t enough to cover the cost of soaring jet fuel prices, they started charging baggage fees and today those fees have become synonymous with airline excess.
Today those fees have gone beyond extra bags being stored under the plane to carry-on bags as well. One of the worst of all of the major carriers is Spirit Airlines. Their minimum price for carry-on bag is $26 and that’s only if you are part of their $9 Fare Club. Heaven forbid you’re not because you’ll be charged $45 per bag if you pay before check-in and, if you’re silly enough to wait until you’re at the gate, a whopping $100 per carry-on bag!
Even worse is if you check a third or fourth bag, which can cost you anywhere from $25 up to $200 per bag. Virgin America is the “best” at $25 per bag but, on the high end, is US Airways at $200 per bag!
The convenience factor of flying, especially if you’re traveling more than 100 miles, is what makes traveling by plane so attractive. On the other hand, airport fees, government add-on fees, wait times, delays and of course that most hated of activities, going through the security line, make most people wish that flying had never even been invented.
If you’re traveling by plane this summer you should definitely take some time to research all of your options in order to cut down on as many of these fees and extras as possible.