As if flying isn't pricey enough, you've got all of the "extra" fees to deal with. How are you supposed to get around them - and can you? You may at first think you've got a great deal on an airline ticket, but before you know it, you've got a ticket that's much more than you thought. Here are some of the most common add-on fees - some optional:
Baggage fees Some airlines charge for any checked baggage, others may allow one piece of a certain weight and then charge for anything above. On sites such as farecompare.com, you can take a look at different airlines policies. For instance, Delta allows one free carry on bag of 40 lbs. or under and one personal item, and checked bags begin at the first one at $25 and the second at $35, plus fees for oversize and overweight bags. Southwest Airlines offers a free carry on, personal item and two checked bags.
Seat fees We all know first class is a more expensive seat, but sometimes airlines charge for reserved seating or "preferred" seats, such as window seats. When traveling in groups and need to sit together, it can become an unavoidable extra charge.
Some other extras that may surprise you …
• You may find that you'll be charged for making your flight plans by phone or in person. It's easier on everyone to do it online.
• If you want to put your frequent flyer miles back into your account, you could be charged.
• Taking your pet onboard doesn't count as baggage; you'll probably have to pay extra.
• Paper tickets - print your own or use your mobile device for an e-ticket.
• Food and drink - these used to be part of your ticket - now most everything is a la carte to be paid for in flight. You may still find an occasional snack on the house If you're lucky.
The unavoidable Some fees are just there - there's nothing you can do about them short of taking a bus or train (but probably there as well). Remember, after the price of your ticket, these things and others will likely be added on: taxes, security fees, airport fees and international fees if you're traveling outside the country. Some people don't mind the choices airlines are offering. It allows you to choose less. For instance if you're traveling light without much luggage, you're not paying for it. And those who pack everything they own really should have some responsibility for taking all that stuff on the plane.
Look ahead so you know what you're getting into and keep the surprises to a minimum.
About the Author: Heather Legg writes on topics related to saving money, social media and Bobby Kotlick.