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US Airfare Fees Double: How to Save Money to Hawaii

Last January I incredulously mentioned that the airlines have just collected 22.6 billion in ancillary fees in 2010. That was up from a mere 13.5 billion the prior year.

For 2011, you won’t be surprised that things have escalated significantly. US major airlines will take 12.5 billion this year from us in fees, up from only 6.7 last year. That’s an increase of 87 percent, or nearly double over 2010. Carriers worldwide are expected to rake in 32.5 billion by year’s end.

Delta Airlines announces its latest fee enhancement with “Economy Comfort.”

Following the model of United’s Economy Plus, this new service will become available in 2012,  including flights to Hawaii. For an additional introductory fee likely to be $99 each way, you’ll be provided with an extra 3+ inches of legroom and priority boarding. Is it a good deal? You decide. Delta this week also announced fare hikes system-wide.

Keep your Hawaii travel dollars in your pocket

1. Please check out our posts:

2. Read the fine print before you buy. The airlines simply have so many intricate rules and are masters at this game.

For example:

  1. Want to extend or cut short your trip? What will it cost?
  2. Are mileage tickets really free? What are the associated costs with issuance and changes?
  3. What are the first and second bag fees for the airline you’ll be flying?
  4. If your bag is overweight, what will the fee be?

3. USA Today Travel recently did an article covering many of the airline fees you’re likely to encounter.

If you have any tips to add let us know. Maybe you found a credit card offering a free bag or belong to an airline program that saves you on luggage and other fees.

7 thoughts on “US Airfare Fees Double: How to Save Money to Hawaii”

  1. My question is, where do they get that additional 3 inches of legroom from? I mean, I’m sure they don’t remove several rows of seats to get the extra legroom…Instead, I’m afraid that they will be squashing the remaining passengers by removing their legroom. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t even bend over in your seat to pick up something you may have dropped onto the floor!
    I wonder if someone sues an airline for DVT if they are forced to sit in a seat with a 29″ seat pitch if that would change things?
    I flew to Hong Kong from the east coast a few years ago…15 hours on a plane non-stop! Good thing I was on a 747…something to be said about flying in a “true” wide body jet!

  2. I am confused by the numbers in the first two paragraphs of your story. They seem at odds with each other, am I missing something?

  3. It’s so discouraging, isn’t it. I never check bags, so don’t worry about that fee. But, so many people carry on their bags now that I’m afraid that will be the next fee. I’ve looked some at different credit cards that offer free checked bags and other airline fee perks, but I think if you look closely at the annual fee and the interest rates, you probably don’t come out ahead if you are mostly a vacation traveler like me. The fun has definitely gone out of flying in the last few years. I usually feel cheated when I get off the plane. A long flight is torture, with the crowded and small seats and stripped down in-flight meals, and other amenities that used to fill up the time. I won’t, however, miss my annual trip to Hawaii. Thanks guys for your e-mails and information. I look forward to it each day.

  4. How does the airlines expect Hawaii to recover from this terrible economy we are suffering from……Flying is the only way over there unless you want to spend four days on a ship to get there…….The airlines are getting very greedy and it started with charging for our baggage….they could at least let the first bag go free and charge for a second one…. I love Hawaii and always will support it as long as I can…..

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