Important Changes to Hawaii Quarantine Rules Amid Political Infighting

New Airline Fees and Credit Card Surcharges

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!

Restroom fee.

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?

View all recent Hawaii Travel Deals.

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9 thoughts on “New Airline Fees and Credit Card Surcharges”

  1. Colleen,

    could you tell us where you like to go to Mexico? is there a site that tells us where to get things cheap, like cars and accomodations?
    I have stepdaughter that wants to get out of the cold of Toronto.

    Thank you!

  2. Alan – you are 100% correct. Someone must have STOCK in the airline industry!!!

    They allow this rape the same way they allow the oil companies to rape the public – all because they probably have stock. I have a friend who inherited stock in Exxon and she doesn’t care how high gas prices go – she loves her dividend check!!

    With fares running nearly $1K pp from the Midwest for next winter – it is looking more and more like Mexico again for us :0( Add to that several hundred dollars for a car rental on the Big Island and you get the picture. The only folks who can make it to Hawaii now must live on the WEST coast. That’s where all the deals are. The rest of us have to settle for Mexico.

    Hawaii is our all time favorite vacation spot – but we cannot justify spending $3K-$4K for a week when we can go to Mexico for nearly a month on the same money. IT’S A DIRTY ROTTEN SHAME.

  3. Part of the airlines method to this fee madness is that a FARE hike would result
    in an increase in the federal tax take. Uncle doesn’t get a piece of fee revenue.
    Who in Washington is sound asleep on this scam? I have two prominent suspects
    in mind – Democrats AND Republicans

  4. Taking Nadege’s comment a step further – support local charities by traveling to Hawaii with NO luggage and then shopping THRIFT stores :0)

    The whole idea of all of these extra charges irritates me to no end. Shame on the airlines for keeping the ticket prices so high while at the same time raking the money in the ‘back door’

    1. I always visit thrift stores whenever I am on any of the islands…where else can you get Reyn Spooner, or Tori Richards or Kamehameha Aloha shirts for $10 each?

  5. This is most certainly unhappy news! I do appreciate the heads up though.

    I don’t suppose we can do anything but pay up. It doesn’t seem quite right. Did you say $160 for a bag charge????? How much was the actual ticket???

    This can’t just be the high cost of fuel, can it???

  6. So I can put airlines in the same category as insurance companies, banks, bad lawyers, pharmaceutical industry, politicians…? For a trip to Hawaii, I can travel without luggage and by cheap T-shirts, shorts… at K-Mart. No souvenirs on my way back home. That makes it sooooo much easier!

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