Back in the day, airfare was inexpensive and the price you paid included baggage and everything. Nowadays, it’s not unusual for airlines to charge additional fees for checked baggage and miscellaneous fees, all which can easily increase the bill your trip. The worst of the fees are the hidden fees – the unexpected charges for changing your ticket, requesting a paper ticket, and even booking a ticket over the phone. Fortunately, you don’t have to wallow over these charges much longer. Linsay Thomas from DealsPlus, an online community of savvy shoppers and bargain hunters sharing the best deals and sales, shares the secrets behind getting around these fees and getting the best price for your flight.
- Baggage fees
What are the chances you’d fly somewhere without luggage? It only seems reasonable that you’re flying with your essentials, but airlines continue to charge passengers for necessities. Although Southwest Airlines is the only airline that lets you check in your first two bags for free, if you want to check in a third bag, it’s going to cost you $75. Consider an airline like Spirit who offers low airfares, but it only allows one free personal item (something like a small backpack or purse), so you will be charged $30 or more for a bag check depending on the weight of your baggage. Of course, these are just a couple examples, but overall, fees for checked baggage can run you anywhere from $25 to $75. If you’re not a light packer, expect to forfeit another couple hundred dollars in fees.
Thankfully, one great way to waive these fees is via credit cards. With a Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card or the United Explorer card, your first checked bag is free. If you want to avoid the fees altogether, learn to pack like a pro and roll your clothes. Source: Press Herald
- Direct Ticketing fees
Probably one of the most disliked of fees, did you know you can get charged extra depending on how you purchase your ticket? If you book over the phone or at the ticket counter, you’re likely to accrue an additional $15 to $40 from certain airlines. The most obvious solution: book online. You should also note that Southwest does not charge extra for booking over the phone.
- Paper Ticket fees
It’s no longer common to be presented with a paper ticket. If you want a physical boarding pass, you’ll have to give $50 in return to the airline. Avoid this extra cost and save the environment by presenting your e-ticket on your mobile device or printing it at home. Source: Travel and Leisure
- Seat fees
If you’re particular about your seat on an aircraft, think about just how particular you are when you might be asked to fork over up to $80 to select your seat. This does not mean that you’re getting a first-class seat, either.
- Change fees
It happens to the best of us. You’re ready to hop on a flight to enjoy a long-awaited vacation you planned months for when suddenly, life gives you a reason to miss it. Maybe something at work needs to be completed at the last minute, or maybe it’s a family emergency. Regardless, your plans and flight must be changed, but airlines don’t let you off that easily. Unless you booked with Southwest, you can expect change fees from $50 to $250. Source: Mashable
- Award point fees
Are the things that claim to be free actually free? At least with airline reward points, not really. You’re still going to have to pay when you use your miles and rewards points, and it’s probably going to cost anywhere between $25 to $150 depending on the airline.
- Holiday fees
The holidays are the busiest time of year for travel, so without surprise, airlines definitely take advantage of this influx of passengers by increasing airfare and travel costs in general. You can expect to be charged up to $30 in additional fees, but you can avoid these costs if you’re flexible with your travel plans. Good luck, though, because it can be difficult to convince your entire family to delay Christmas. Source: Washington Times
When it comes to airline fees, it’s easy for little things to add up. Although you might not be able to make them disappear altogether, there are ways to make your travels more affordable. The best thing you can do is learn about all the possible fees and be prepared to pay the costs if it’s impossible for you to avoid them. Be aware of everything that your travel arrangements may entail, so you aren’t caught off guard if extra fees appear. In the meantime, you can always check out DealsPlus to learn about the best travel deals and tips.– by Linsay Thomas, Travel Writer
Linsay Thomas is a veteran writer for DealsPlus, and her knowledge on affordable travel has helped many readers get the best prices on their airfare and more. In addition to travel, Linsay shares helpful tips and tricks on how to get the best deals while shopping year-round.