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July 25, 2012

Plan Ahead to Avoid Costly Airline Fees

by AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing

Many of us will be taking a plane this summer. Whether it is for business or pleasure will not matter when it comes to being charged additional fees by the airline. Here are several fees that you may not be aware of to keep you ahead of the game and prepared prior to arriving to the airport:

  • Luggage. Most airlines are now charging you a hefty fee anywhere from $15-$25 depending on the airline to check a bag. The one airline that is still an exception to this rule is Southwest; however, they only fly domestically within the United States and do not fly to certain cities so they might not be a match for your destination. To find out if the airline you will be flying on charges baggage fees, visit their website for a detailed fee list. In most cases, the overhead bins get full really fast since no one wants to pay the ridiculous luggage fees. The airline now has to check all carry-on that will not fit – only they can’t charge you once you are at the gate. Plan to always carry-on if applicable.
  • Seat Selection. Be sure to read the fine print before selecting your seat online as this may cost you extra. When you arrive at the airport an upgrade to a better seat may be available. Check in at the counter to find out.
  • Food. Most airlines do not offer free meals or snacks any longer (unless you are flying internationally) but instead are charging you if you want these items. Complimentary drink service is still provided free of charge (except for alcoholic beverages of course). Prices of food and beverages inside the airport have also gone up significantly. The best route would be to purchase food and snacks prior to arriving at the airport. Bringing an empty water bottle that can be filled after you have passed through security is also a great idea to avoid incurring the expense of airport bottled water.
  • Entertainment. Most of us probably would enjoy watching a movie or TV show while on a long flight. This service is no longer free on most airlines but instead, a movie can now cost you $8. Instead of paying the airline, bring your own portable DVD player, iPod, iPad, or laptop to save you from paying these fees.

Airlines have started charging for everything it seems these days. But, by planning ahead and being smarter than the airlines will save you some additional fees in the long run.

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