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10 most obnoxious hidden airline fees

3 December 2007

Let’s face it. As an industry, airlines have never made money since the Wright Brothers.

Because of this mismanagement, they’ve decided to try lining their coffers by coming up with a slew of obnoxious extra charges.

Whatever additional costs these services could possibly impose on the airlines are clearly lower than what passengers pay. Read on for the most egregious examples.

1. Making a reservation on the phone or in person – Fee: $5-$20. US Airways is among the greediest on this count: $10 to book over the phone, or $20 to book at the airport or at a city ticket office (if you can find one).
2. Re-banking frequent flyer miles – Fee: $50-100. If you cash in your miles and decide not to use your ticket, you’ll be hit with a fee to place the miles back into your account.
3. Cashing in frequent flyer miles without sufficient advance notice
4. Bringing a pet onboard in the cabin – Fee: $50-85 (each way). These fees have skyrocketed lately.
5. Checking luggage – Fee: $3-10 (each way). Spirit Airlines charges $5 for each of the first two bags if paid for online, $10 each otherwise.
6. Getting a refund when a fare goes down – Fee: $25 to $200 or more. If you bought a TV from Costco or BestBuy and they lowered the price the following week, chances are you could get a refund, no questions asked. Even Apple gave credits when it dropped the price of its iPhone soon after launching it.
7. Flying standby on the same day of travel – Fee: $0-50. Time was, if there were empty seats on a later or earlier flight on the same day as your original, the airline would confirm you for free.
8. Paying for lap children – Fee: $10 to 10 percent of the adult fare (international flights).
9. Getting a seat assignment – Fee: $5-$11 each way. Air Canada, AirTran and Allegiant are some of the carriers that now charge for this “perk.”
10. Using the lavatory – Fee: OK, airlines are not installing pay toilets. Yet. But the way things are going …

source: MSNBC

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