For those looking to make some travel plans this summer (now that the weather is finally shaping up after a horrendous winter), you might have to pick a travel destination closer to home to avoid new airline price spikes.
Christopher Elliott at The Seattle Times writes that multiple American airlines have increased the cost of their change fees from $150 to $200, upping an already despised charge. Change fees go into effect when a traveler has to change their dates of travel and thus their reservation dates for airline tickets.
Even more obnoxious are the fees certain airlines like Frontier Airlines are imposing on travelers who purchase tickets on sites outside of its own, “Frontier Airlines announced that for tickets booked anywhere except on its website, it would raise its luggage charges and impose a fee of up to $100 for certain carry-on bags, the third U.S. carrier to do this.”
Fees for carry-on bags, say what?!
That’s not all, though, “Most economy-class passengers will also have to pay $1.99 for coffee, tea, soda and juice.” Though free food has long since disappeared from shorter domestic flights, imposing a carry-on fee on top of having to purchase your own coffee and tea, is awful.
According to Elliott, airlines have carte blanche to impose fees because the government cannot regulate these fees. Airlines have to disclose of these fees in the fares that they advertise, but what fees they actually charge are up to the companies.
Unfortunately for those who have to travel to distances too far to take a train for, airline fees are unavoidable. Elliott consults a fee analyst, who says that these fees are going too far,
”Keep fees reasonable and at a level that wouldn’t have your mother receive criticism about her son from her friends,” he says. “I think United’s recent increases violate that guideline. When these fees are too high, the airline will experience compliance issues at the airports and call center, counter, and gate staff will suffer the consequences.”
Click on page 2 and see a sample of the kinds of fees some American airlines charge.