Dodging Those Pesky Airline Fees

December 7, 2010  |  

(New York Times) — AFTER scouring the Web for the cheapest flight possible, you finally book a ticket for your holiday trip. Think your work is done? Not if you want to avoid paying those pesky fees airlines are charging.  Need to check a bag? That can cost between $15 and $35. Want to get on the standby list? It’s $50 to confirm a seat on an earlier flight. How about an exit row seat? Expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $40 depending on the airline, the seat and the length of the flight.  Airlines say charging for services à la carte rather than bundling the fees into the cost of the ticket helps keep prices low and imposes fees only on passengers who use those services. Of course, charging separately also increases ancillary revenue — money generated by sources other than fares — which jumped 15.8 percent in the second quarter to $2.1 billion, compared with the same period last year, according to the Transportation Department. So far this year, airlines have collected $1.7 billion from baggage fees and $1.5 billion in reservation, cancellation and change fees alone.

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