Save On Travel Costs; Avoid Airline Fees

Save On Travel Costs; Avoid Airline Fees


That steamboat trip may prove cheaper than a jetliner!

Have you flown recently? Have you booked a flight? Likely, you’ve experienced a certain measure of sticker shock if you haven’t flown in many months and see what airlines are charging these days. Now that the airlines have cut capacity to match demand, they’ve been able to raise prices accordingly.

But ticket prices don’t tell the whole story as there are enough fees added to turn a bargain airfare into a costly endeavor. Thanks to helpful sites such as Kayak, you can find out what these airline fees are and take that information into consideration when shopping for a ticket.

What are the fees you can expect to see these days? Let’s take a look at what might be added on to drive up your overall airfare costs:

Security Fees – After 9/11, security fees began to show up, costing customers up to $5 per one-way trip.

Ticket Taxes – A federal tax of 7.5 percent is charged for every ticket sold. Those funds are collected by the friendly folks at the IRS and deposited into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. You’ll also pay an extra $8.10 on flights from the continental US to Alaska and Hawaii.

Passenger Facility Charge – One way that airports raise funds is to pass through a passenger facility charge for each leg of your trip. The FAA tells airports how much they can charge, but fees generally range from $3.00 to $4.50, up to a maximum of $18.

Segment Tax – Each time an airplane takes off and lands, a fee is charged. Those charges are passed on to customers at a cost of $3.70 per leg.

International Taxes – Travel beyond America’s borders and you’ll be charged a special $16.10 arrival/departure tax which means that they have you coming and going.

Other Fees – Pay $5 to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for your pet or plant. Pay $7 for an international and naturalization fee if you’re coming in from overseas. Pay whatever other surcharges the federal government can dream up to empty your wallet….

The government is not the only one with their hands in your wallet. The airlines love to hit passengers up with fees including the following:

Checked Baggage – If you can’t carry it onboard, you may have to pay a per baggage fee for each piece of luggage that gets to ride in the belly of the jetliner.

Airline Meals – If your airline serves a meal, expect to pay for it. If your airline serves a snack, you may have to pay for that too. With some airlines you’ll pay for every package of crackers, can of soda or sandwich offered.

Pet Fees – Taking pooch along on the trip has gotten expensive. Some airlines insist that your pet be stowed with the luggage while others will allow you to bring your four-legged friend onboard.

Unaccompanied Minors – You may have secured a bargain fee to send junior across country, but airlines see a cash cow in the making.

Seat Assignment – A relatively new charge, if you want more legroom you’ll be charged for it. Why should airlines give you six inches more of legroom without your compensating them for that luxury?

The information in this article updates the fee schedule shared by USA Today in, “A guide to airline-ticket taxes and fees

Adv. – Are you planning to travel this summer? Let be your guide—lots of discount information and travel guides available on this site to help you plan your trip and save money.


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Categories: Travel Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".