Airline Fees – Do They Go Too Far?

In recent years it seems that airlines are charging for just about everything you do.  First there were baggage fees.  Then came fees for having snacks or a meal on the plane.  There are fees to select your seats in advance of your flight.  Two airlines even charge you now for carryons!

It used to be when you looked at pricing for flights, the airlines would give you the lowest price, without taxes and fees added to hook you in with a low price.  The DOT has changed this practice and they are now required to post the total price for the flight but of course, they don’t have to list the extra fees you could incur while traveling.

I have to admit, the extra fees has caused me to take a closer look at the carriers I will fly with.  I generally don’t compare the price for bags, but I do take note if the airline charges for the flight at all.  I’ll consider paying a bit more for a carrier that doesn’t charge for bags than for one that does.  It’s more convenient.  I have an airline credit card so I don’t have to pay for the first bag on one carrier.

These fees have also made me expect more from the airline.  If I’m paying more for something, the service should increase as well.  I find that I have complained to airlines more in the last year than I ever have.

Personally, even if it means a bit more up front, I wish the airlines would roll the fees into the ticket price, instead of nickel and diming us to death.  When I look at a flight on Spirit Airlines, the prices can be incredibly low, but once I add on the cost for my checked luggage, carry on luggage, a snack on the plane, I could go cheaper with another carrier.

It also affects how I pack for my trip.  I take a little less, carry on a little more when I have to pay for it.  If there are no baggage fees, I’m more likely to take what I want and carry on very little.  For our upcoming trip, we weren’t planning to bring formal wear but since we are flying Southwest, why not!

What do you think?  Would you rather see all the fees bundled together or do you like it the way it is?

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rhonda on September 18, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    I kinda like it the way it is — with the fees all separated. That way I can pick and choose what I want. I usually fly Southwest, because there are no baggage fees. But, their seating is first-come, first-served. So if you’re at the back of the line, you get the seats that are left on a full plane. I don’t mind that if I’m flying solo. But, if I have others with me, and we want to sit together, we will usually pay the extra $20 per person Early Bird charge, to get on the plane at the front of the line.

    Airtran usually has low fares, and you can choose your seats when you make the reservation, but you have to pay for them. The seats have different charges, depending where they are on the plane. You also have to pay for baggage.

    I like that there are different choices, and that you can save quite a bit if you’re not choosy where you sit, or if you don’t have baggage fees.

    Reply

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