Airline Fees That Suck

by Kristina Tahnyak on February 24, 2011 · 1 comment

It’s been a brutal winter up in the cold northeast and many people are escaping to warmer weather for a little winter break.  Before we book our airline tickets this winter we need to make sure to read the fine print about airline fees.

Airlines have increased fees and created new fees for travellers that make taking a road trip a better vacation idea.  MSN Money recently published an article titled The World’s Most Frustrating Airline Fees that discusses some expensive and ridiculous fees that are now being charged by airlines.  I am not sure if it’s more frustrating that airlines are charging these fees, or it is more frustrating that airlines are actually trying to defend these new expensive fees.

Here is a list of fees that airlines are charging to their travellers:

The Airline Fee for Checked Bags: Airlines can charge anywhere from $20 to $100 per checked bag.  As a traveller I don’t want the plane to be too heavy, but I don’t think that charging travellers is the way to ensure that the plane is not overweight.  If travellers are willing to pay the fee then they can bring as many bags as they want. Airlines should enforce a strict rule about the number of bags that travellers can bring no exceptions.

An additional Airline Fee for Paying the Checked Bag Fee at the Airport: Can anyone else say ridiculous? I would never pay my checked bag fee online because until I leave for the airport on the day of my trip I don’t know how many bags I will have.  I would also never pay an additional fee for another fee; I would just book my ticket with another airline.

The Airline Fee for Using our Frequent Flyer Miles: Isn’t the whole point of using frequent flyer miles the fact that the flight is free? We already have to pay the taxes on a ticket that is booked using our frequent flyer miles; now we also have to pay a booking fee for those tickets.  The fee increases if we call a customer service agent instead of booking the flight ourselves online.

The Airline Fee to Reserve Your Favourite Seat: That’s right, if you want to guarantee that first seat at the front of the plane, you are going to have to pay for it.

The Airline Fee for Checking In: This is a fee charged by the European airline Ryanair.  A fee to check in? Seriously? If there should be such a fee shouldn’t it be included in the price of our ticket? The most frustrating thing about this airline fee is that we can’t avoid it. Checking in is only the logical next step after booking our ticket. We must check in to take the flight and therefore we have to pay this fee.

The Airline Fee to Change our Ticket: This is normal, and I don’t mind paying a fee to rebook my flight, as long as the fee is reasonable.  In my opinion it is not reasonable to charge $75 to $250 plus the price difference in tickets to change a flight. A standard $25 fee should apply plus the price difference in tickets.  $25 is still a huge profit for airlines because changing a ticket takes less than 15 minutes with a customer service agent. This is a lot less than the hourly wage that they are paid by the airline.

The Airline Fee for Carryon Bags: YIKES! This is ridiculous.  Aren’t those overhead bins there for our convenience? Some airlines are charging up to $45 per bag that travellers want to carry on the plane and place in the overhead bin.

The Airline Fee to Use the Bathroom. I have to admit that since I saw the movie Snakes on a Plane I have not used the bathroom on a plane.  In general, I don’t like to use bathrooms that aren’t stationary such as Port a Potty.  I also don’t like to use the bathrooms on anything that moves like a bus, airplane, or train.

Airlines have repeatedly justified their actions by saying that adding fees are cutting costs.  However what they are really cutting are jobs.  If we book our ticket online, the airline doesn’t have to pay a customer service agent.  If we don’t bring any bags on our flight, the airline doesn’t have to pay a baggage handler.  Airline fees are not to cut costs, they are to increase profit…bottom line.

(Photo by Ma1974)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Wade February 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

I was a little shocked when I read that fee for checking in. As far as I know, it is a requirement to check-in for any flight. This makes this a ridiculous fee along with the booking fee. It’s not really possible to avoid either of these fees, and it is just a way to make more money without increasing the price of the ticket that people make their purchases based on. Anyway, it’s good to review the airlines fees before booking the ticket(s).

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