Tips

Hate Getting Hit by Airline Fees?

no_hidden_costsEasily one of my pet peeves, airline fees are at best frustrating and, at worst, insidious and can catch you off guard, costing $25+ on your trip.

Take, for example, a recent trip to Las Vegas. I had the opportunity to meet a friend who had a room comped for Super Bowl weekend. I knew the fares would jump from DEN to LAS, but I didn’t realize the substantial difference in price in just a few days. I finally found a fare and schedule on Spirit Airlines that would work and booked it.

When I received my email confirmation I was shocked to see that not only did Spirit charge for checked bags (standard practice), but they also charge for carry-on bags. Yep, $30 per bag in the overhead bin if you pay in advance. It’s $50 if you wait until you get to the airport (or if you didn’t read the fine print and are informed at the ticket counter).

I was irritated by this: irritated at the airline, but mostly irritated with myself. If I figured in the cost for a bag, I could have just booked on another airline and come out about even. It was a good lesson and one I wouldn’t forget.

Ha ha, Spirit airlines. I can pack for a weekend in this backpack.

Ha ha, Spirit airlines. I can pack for a weekend in this backpack.

I showed Spirit, though, and packed for my Vegas weekend in a small backpack. That and my purse fit under the seat and I was good to go. Not only did it make me streamline my packing (curtailing my tendency to pack too many shoes), but I also saved time by not waiting at baggage claim. I did have to leave some things at home that were over the 3oz limit, but my friend (who traveled on another airline) let me borrow hair product.

Airfare Watchdog, a site that I like for its airfare rate tracking, just released a comprehensive airline fee guide. Take a look and, unlike me, you’ll never be surprised by unexpected fees.

comprehensive_airlines_fees_chart_v2 or here.

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