Drowning in a sea of fees? Take air-travel taxes and fees into account before purchasing a ticket

Many airline Web sites—and most ads—show prices without taxes and surcharges. Some surcharges are obvious: for luggage, for flying on standby, and for changing your flight (and if your new flight is more expensive, you’ll pay the difference, too). Others are less obvious. For instance, surcharges are added when you buy your ticket anywhere but on an airline Web site (that includes by phone—even if you call the airline directly), when you request the all-but-extinct paper tickets, and when you travel during peak periods. Don’t buy till you know the full price: check out SmartTravel.com, which has comprehensive information on airline fees.

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