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Flying's Fees: Is there one fee that irks you the most?

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May 13th, 2008, 02:50 PM
  #1
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Flying's Fees: Is there one fee that irks you the most?

We have a story coming out this week in the newsletter that rounds up a couple of the most recent changes/additions to several major airlines fee increases. I feel like every day I'm reading something else about fees going up. I know I posted here the other day my annoyance at Delta charging me for a flight change without mentioning the cost.

Just curious--what fees have you read about or personally been affected by that you find criminal and which do you find completely understandable?

Do you feel nickel and dimed? Or do you think these recent increases and "unbundling" of options to be fair based on the current state of the airline industry?



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May 13th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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Ran into a lady who had to buy a last minute ticket New York to Jacksonville FL...Jet Blue...Air Fare $654.00..Extra LegRoom Seats $15 X 2, Doggie Fee $100.00.....Nap in a hammock under the swaying palm?..PRICELESS.......
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May 13th, 2008, 03:18 PM
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Katie- I'm sure you have read Mambo's thread (from a few days ago) in the Lounge regarding the extra baggage charge her college-aged son faced? That thread got suspended.
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May 13th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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I did... it got a little out of hand. It did perk my interest though; it seems many of these fees have just gone into effect in the last two months.
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May 13th, 2008, 05:08 PM
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I'm not happy about the last increase in the fee for mileage upgrades on AA. It's still much less expensive that paying for biz class, though & IMO well worth it for trans-Atlantic flights.

Frankly, I'm surprised regular air fares aren't MORE expensive than they are since I can remember higher prices many years ago.
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May 13th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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The airlines can change their programs and increase fees, etc; so in general I have no problem with them. These new fees are there to increase revenue for the airline in lieu of raising fares.

However, I can think of at least one type that I find quite unfair. Which is to charge the passenger a reservation fees for using the phone when that's the only way to issue that ticket, as it's not bookable online. Or some of Ryanair's fees of say using a credit card or having to use counter check-in because one's not an EU citizen.

And I can think of one extremely misleading fees, which is the fuel surcharge. Instead of raising fares and FF award redemption fees, they put in a fuel surchage.
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May 13th, 2008, 07:40 PM
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The one that irks me is a procedural issue rather than the fee itself. So many countries handle their airport taxes by making you fork over cash at check-in. These are no different than the taxes that any other country (the U.S. included) levies, but those other countries just include the taxes in the price of the ticket. So many places in Latin America (that's where most of my travel is) require you to stand in one more line and fork out $26 or $31 or whatever the amount is. Are they afraid the airline won't turn the money over if they're allowed to collect it?

End of rant.
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May 14th, 2008, 12:31 AM
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As long as the fee is spelled out and (preferably) charged at the time of ticketing, I'm okay with it. They can call it a fuel surcharge, a ticketing fee, or whatever they want, I only care about the bottom line price.

Most of the US airlines are pretty good about this, so I don't have too many complaints there. Some of the EU airlines are a little less forthcoming, particularly the "budget" carriers.

The only fees that really grind my gears, are not flight-related, but hotel-related. Charging extra for wifi is ridiculous. And $20 for a continental breakfast is basically extortion.
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May 14th, 2008, 05:25 AM
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I agree with one of the previous posters that I also wish they would just raise the fares and forget all the little things. I do only care about the bottom line price, so I don't really care how many little pieces it is, but I would like to get miles for them...
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May 14th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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Most U.S. airlines charge $5 for a tiny bottle of wine on International flights. On most foreign airlines, it is free. In France, wine is cheaper than Coke. U.S. airlines charge 3 pounds for a beer on U.S. flights to Europe. It really makes those Brits feel like their getting ripped off!
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May 14th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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The fee that sticks in my memory is one I've paid more than once at RSW airport in Fort Myers FL: there ar no onsite rental cars, all the lots are a few miles away, so require the typical shuttle bus. Of course the rental company provides this free. But the airport (or Lee County or whatever) charges the renter a fee for allowing that bus to access the airport!! Used to be about $14.

I know that municipalities - and some states - like to sock the travelers, but this fee seems extortionary to me.
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May 14th, 2008, 11:33 PM
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No the fees don't bother me. Whatever it is I will pay it, or not. Flying is a pretty good bargain. With airlines losing money it means that part of my travel is being subsidized by investors (as well as being subsidized by high-fare paying customers). Same product, less cost for me.

I am taking a flight in Malaysia today on Firely Air.
Prices in MYR (1 malaysian ringgit is about 30 cents US):

fare: 9.95
airport tax: 9.00
fuel surcharge: 16.00
insurance surcharge: 5.00
admin fee: 16.00

So the 9.95 MYR fare turns into a 55.95 MYR ticket price, but that is 17 USD and change. The admin fee is irksome, tho.
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May 15th, 2008, 04:30 AM
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My biggest & one I forgot to mention is that tax charge when flying out of London. It's also based on the class of service & if you're using mileage upgrades you have to make sure they don't charge you the higher fee.
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May 15th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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Air Tran Assigned seat charge

Fee of $6 per leg just to book a seat, any seat, otherwise you can not pay the fee and hope for the best. $20 if you want the emergency row seats. Sorry, but I think it's ridiculous to have to pay this fee, but if you don't will you be the only one who didn't and get the family all split up??
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May 15th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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see my reply re Standy. rediculous to pay for a seat that may be empty anyway. To have to pay $25 US Airways for each leg with no guarantee!! Airline robbery.
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May 15th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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Here is the story I mentioned in the OP:
http://www.fodors.com/news/story_3008.html

Beach--- I think of all the fees the standby one is really surprising for travelers already at the airport. Many of the airlines have switched their standby policies to "confirmed standby"---which then incur the cost. I'm sure there will come a time though that I will definitely cough up that money to fly standby. Sometimes it's really worth it obviously.

I mentioned a recent fee I paid on an earlier thread-- I arrived a minute shy of the mandatory 30 minutes before flight check-in. This was a very early morning flight at a small airport. The agent at check-in was able to put me on the next flight but didn't mention the $50 surcharge that would be placed on my credit card.

Rules are rules---I do understand that but I think I should have been told upfront about the charge; I would have accepted it because it was my own fault.

I will definitely make sure I check in from home next time!

Tom---I think I've been hit with something similar somewhere else in regards to that shuttle charge. Miami maybe?
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May 16th, 2008, 05:06 AM
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Most, if not all of the extra charges (for certain seats, baggage, etc) are avoidable.

Katie_H, you certainly should have been informed of the charge then you would have had a chance to not pay it.
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May 16th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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United charges $25 per ticket ($30 at the airport) to ticket when you book travel by phone. If you have a travel certificate which is unable to be ticketed online, you must pay this fee which reduces the value of the certificate. (I think the fee is waived for $25 certs. duh)
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May 17th, 2008, 12:15 AM
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Ryanair charge a CC fee per person per flight - so if a family of 4 go to Malaga for the week that's 8 CC charges.

Most other companies impose a fixed fee for the whole booking

Ryanair have free online check-in - but if you have checked luggage you can't use it and have to pay a fee in order to check-in (and that's on top of the fee for your checked luggage)
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May 17th, 2008, 06:46 AM
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-- I'm puzzled by the fees Ryanair charges for the use of credit cards. Puzzled, because CC companies generally take a dim view of any merchant who takes action to discourage use of their CC even as the merchant at one and the same time wants to transact business using the CC. Why, I wonder, don't the CC companies object to fees which arguably could be seen as discouraging the use of the CC?

-- In general, and provided I am clearly notified at the time of booking, I do not object to fees for services over which I have control, i.e. services that I have the option to use or not use. I do object to things like 'administration fees' when these are charged - as if passengers have the option to decline the 'administration' of the service they're buying.

I also think a certain amount of checked baggage is almost inevitable given the ever increasing number of items that cannot be placed in carry-on luggage - for security reasons that of course are not within the control of passengers. So for any airline (e.g. Ryanair) to assess a charge to a passenger for checking ANY amount of luggage at all is unreasonable, given that more and more, not to check any luggage at all isn't an option for passengers.

-- Finally, I note you asked for what I think is 'fair.' Fairness conjures up for many people things like progressive tax policies, which are based on a person's individual circumstances - their ability to pay, their ability to predict the consequences of their actions, etc. But the world to which airlines belong is (supposedly) not the world of government but the business world which obeys no such policy: businesses assess a price/fee based on what the market as a whole (and not just oneself as an individual) will BEAR. "Bear" does not mean "like" or " think is reasonable." So I don't expect standards of fairness based on the buyer's ability to pay, their reasons for missing a flight etc., to enter the equation. I don't say I necessarily like this arrangement (notwithstanding I have several times been accused of being an 'apologist' for the airlines) but it is understandable to me. In short, to me, "fair" doesn't necessarily mean "nice".
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