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Are Airlines Going Overboard With New Fee’s?

There was a time long ago, when buying an airline ticket was a simple process. The price of the ticket was the price you paid. Nowadays it seems as though the priceof the actual airplane ticket is only the beginning. Airlines began implementing additional fees a few years ago and now it seems they can’t stop. The Pandora box of extra fees has been opened and now it’s impossible to stop the tide of new fees.

One of the more controversial fees recently implemented was the additional charge to check your bags. Most airlines started out by charging $15 each way for your first checked bag and then doubling the fee if you would like to check a second bag. So where you once could fly across the country for simply the price of an airline ticket, now you must pay an additional $80 or more if you want to check your bags.

I guess those fee’s must be working though. American Airlines just announced that they are going to increase the fee’s it charges you to check bags by $5 each. So now you will pay $20 each way for your first checked bag and $30 each way for your second bag. These changes are scheduled to start on August 14 and could add up to $100 for each traveler.

Of course the airline industry has been in a world of hurt for years and has grasped at every possible opportunity to squeeze more dollars out of its cargo, eh passengers.

American airlines like to point to fact that discount airlines in Europe charge fees for almost everything from the convenience of online booking to the ability to board the plane first. European discount airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet have successfully charged passengers many types of fees that are just now being introduced in the States.

The big difference between the US carriers and the European discount airlines though is the initial ticket prices. Ryanair routinely offers airline tickets for as little as £1 from the UK and €1 from mainland Europe. Even with taxes added on, you can often fly for as little as $20 – $30. When you can buy an airplane ticket for that reasonable of a price you don’t mind paying a few extra fees.

However, in the U.S. it’s almost impossible to get a plane ticket anywhere for less than $200 – $300. Then after paying that much for the ticket, the airlines expect you to fork over more money for all the extra fees they dream up. Unfortunately, the worst is probably still ahead as rumors are flying about additional fees that the airlines may be considering implementing in the future.

Filed in: Family Finance

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