Whether for checked bags, meals, pillows, carry-on’s or exit row seats, I have just never become accepting of and accustomed to airline fees and surcharges. Have you? But if you think what we have now is bad, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Airline Fees | Credit Card Surcharges | Airline Baggage Fees
Credit card surcharges are legal in the US starting January 27, 2013, so read on.
The airline industry is said to have made $36 billion last year alone on ancillary fees. With such an enormous income opportunity, this is only going in one direction, and that’s up.
Yesterday I was booking reservations for upcoming travel within Australia, which gave me a glimpse into where the airlines that fly to Hawaii are headed next. While they may be a little behind the times at the moment, which is a good thing, don’t expect that to last long at all.
Following are some of the fees we can expect to see and what I encountered when booking on Virgin Australia and Jetstar:
Credit card surcharges/booking fees in the US starting this month.
Yesterday I was charged $7 a person on my Australian tickets for using a credit card. On a $59 fare, that was quite a surcharge, in fact nearly 10 times what it cost the airline to process the charge.
Credit card surcharges haven’t been legal here in the US, but will be starting later this month. From January 27, 2013 merchants in the US are permitted to impose a surcharge of up to 4% (except where prohibited by state law) when consumers use a credit card.
Early boarding fees.
Just yesterday upcoming Hawaii entrant Southwest Air introduced a new $40 fee to be in the very first group to board.
Seat assignment charge.
$5 and up. I had little choice on this one with Qantas’ Jetstar. If you want to sit with anyone in your party, you pay. Otherwise, you’re left to pick from what may be available at the airport. That will scare most people into paying up. I chose to sit near the front of the plane, due to a connecting flight. That cost me a nifty $12 per person.
Seat assignment fees are becoming widespread and not long ago we forked over $35 per seat to Hawaiian for an exit row seat.
Airline baggage fees on the rise.
How does $40 per bag to go 600 miles sound? And what about $160? Grrrr. If you think we already have baggage fees coming out of our ears think again. I’ll have to pay Hawaiian Airlines a piddly $17 this week for an inter-island checked bag. And I’m grateful. But in Australia, I’ll be paying $40 per bag since I took advantage of a fare sale. If you increase your fare, then the bag fees go down. Jetstar’s fee for the lowest fare internationally is $160 per bag when checked in at the airport!
No, just seeing if you’re paying attention. The airlines just haven’t figured this one out yet. But I can definitely imagine a standard free economy lavatory and a premium, swipe your credit card lavatory if you don’t want to wait.
Which airline fees cause you the most aggravation?