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CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:32 pm

http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/28/pf/h...-airline-fees/index.html?iid=HP_LN

I for one got burned by the $200 change of ticket fee 3 weeks ago. Had a wisdom tooth taken out and got an infection after that, and couldn't fly that week.
While checked-in baggage fees are understandable in terms of extra weight on the airplane...etc, there should be a limit on how it's charged whether that's online, at the check in desk or at the gate!
Advance seat selection fee is outrageous too specially if you are travelling with your kids!.

I paid the $25 fee twice on Air Canada to get an upfront window seat, and both times I was asked "nicely" if I can move to a seat in the back, one time for family with kids and another time for snow birds old couple, and I did both times because it was the nice thing to do.
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AWACSooner
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:48 pm

Quoting Centre (Thread starter):

I paid the $25 fee twice on Air Canada to get an upfront window seat, and both times I was asked "nicely" if I can move to a seat in the back, one time for family with kids and another time for snow birds old couple, and I did both times because it was the nice thing to do.

I hope you asked "nicely" if they wouldn't mind refunding you your seat fee...UA screwed me over once by moving me out of E+ to accommodate a family and refused to refund me my $59.
 
a380787
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:49 pm

2 things annoying me the most :

1. the change fee aren't tiered according to (a) elite status, (b) price of ticket, and (c) duration between cancellation date and flight date.

2. non-refundable international paid J still carry change fees of $300-500 even though their sticker price is already like $2000-4000 one-way.

But the rest of the list are very avoidable :

1. baggage fee - first carry-on is free and you can carry quite a lot for a short domestic trip of 5 days or less

2. phone fee - who still books via phone ?

3. last minute award fee - plan your trips a bit earlier perhaps ? BA Avios doesn't have this fee which is great

4. seat assignment fee - if you don't mind crappier seats with no legroom or middle seat, most of the legacies can still select for free.

But I agree with the airlines on excess baggage fees - those travelers at Lima airport look like they're migrating their entire family and its belongings on that flight
 
FWAERJ
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:51 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
1. baggage fee - first carry-on is free

Not on NK or G4 it isn't (or F9 if you don't book through their website).
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:53 pm

I've never had an issue with UA not refunding for an upgrade that I didn't get. Sometimes, squeeking in front of the right person gets your wheels greased.
"It's all fun and games until the cops show up"
 
AWACSooner
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:02 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
2. phone fee - who still books via phone ?

Those of us flying on military fares, since we can't buy them online.
 
OB1504
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:12 pm

Quoting Centre (Thread starter):
Advance seat selection fee is outrageous too specially if you are travelling with your kids!.

Some airlines automatically attempt to assign adjacent seats to passengers traveling with children 24 to 72 hours before departure. AA and BA come to mind.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 1):
I hope you asked "nicely" if they wouldn't mind refunding you your seat fee...UA screwed me over once by moving me out of E+ to accommodate a family and refused to refund me my $59.

Probably because they considered it a "voluntary" downgrade. For that reason, if I ever paid for a seat assignment, I wouldn't move out of it unless the person asking me for the seat paid me for it. It's not my fault someone else couldn't bother to go to the airline website to pick seats at the time of booking.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
Not on NK or G4 it isn't (or F9 if you don't book through their website).

None of those airlines are legacies. That being said, not many people actually pay for the advance seat assignments on those airlines, so there are usually enough unassigned seats available on the day of check-in that parties are rarely split up. The same can't be said for airlines that allow complimentary pre-reserved seats, where all that's left on the day of departure are a handful of middle seats.
 
airbazar
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:19 pm

The change fee is the most ridiculous thing. It costs the airline nothing to change a date on the reservation. It was understandable back in the days when it actually required a human being at a city office to do that for you but these days with automated online tools it costs exactly $0. The only cost for changing a reservation shoudl be if there's a difference in class of service.
 
sovietjet
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:44 pm

Quoting Centre (Thread starter):
While checked-in baggage fees are understandable in terms of extra weight on the airplane..

Extra weight? Sure, if every person on an A-320 checked in a full bag then you add a few tons. Not insignificant but I wouldn't say it affects profit or fuel burn adversely enough to charge each passenger $30 per bag. Is a few tons of weight equal to several thousand dollars of extra fuel burn? I don't think so. Besides, not every bag is 50lbs and not every passenger needs to check in a bag. Clearly airlines like Southwest and almost everywhere else in the world understand this and have no problems making money while allowing people free bags and no change fees. I remember in the 90s and maybe early 2000s when I flew to Europe we had the right to TWO checked bags for FREE and they were both 32kg not 23kg. It's mostly the scum USA airlines that try to milk the customer for every possible penny by adding fees for every little thing while offering the most subpar service.
 
Jano
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:51 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
2. phone fee - who still books via phone ?

This can easily happen with award tickets. I can see they have seats in proper buckets, but the web site just is not able to connect all flights together and price it. So, a phone call takes care of that.
The Widget Air Line :)
 
ckfred
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:07 pm

Here's my problem with checked bag fees. It forces more bags into the cabin. That means it takes longer to board and deplane the aircraft. Boarding takes long enough, especially as airlines have crammed more seats into planes. The worst is the 757. The -200 series holds nearly 190 passengers, and it only has one aisle. It takes quite some time to board a full flight with a lot of carry-ons.

It also means that more carry-ons have to go through the security checkpoints. Checkpoint x-ray machines aren't as sophisticated as the CT scanners in baggage rooms. Increase the number of checked bags that go through the CT scanners, that means fewer bags at the checkpoints. Cut down on the bags at checkpoints, and that means probably better scutiny of people and bags, while reducing the time it takes to clear security.

The airlines cut down the weight of bags from 70 pounds to 50 pounds, because of the potential of injuries to rampers (or so they say). Yet, I see people wrestling with heavy bags, trying to get them into the overhead bins. The passenger with the bag can certainly hurt his back. Then, there is the short person who is trying to get the bag into the bin, and it slips and falls, hitting people in the vicinity.

I also wonder how much carry-on bags affect weight and balance. Remember the US Air Express crash in Charlotte a while back. I believe the aircraft was a Beechcraft 1900. The NTSB determined that the plane was overweight, because of the weight of the passengers and their baggage.

The FAA mandated that the standard weights of passengers and carry-ons be increased, and passenger weights go up into the winter, because of heavier clothing. But, if you have a number of passengers carrying on 50 or 60 pounds of bags, especially on smaller RJs, you wonder how accurate the weight and balance calculation is.

I know that the Embrear 135/140/145 have had weight restriction issues since the Charlotte crash, because Embrear couldn't recertify those aircraft at higher MTOW. My wife has seen bags and even passengers get bumped on American Eagle, because of the need for a high fuel load. Yet, a lot of passengers gate check bags, especially on flights to ORD (long waits at the Eagle baggage claim). So, how accurate is the weight and balance calculation, if those rollerboards are heavy?
 
Logos
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:36 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 5):
Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
2. phone fee - who still books via phone ?

Those of us flying on military fares, since we can't buy them online.

Actually, my experience is that those fees aren't added to military fares booked over the phone. The 30+ minute wait I've had to actually speak to someone at points is not fun, however.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
Too many types flown to list
 
a380787
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:39 pm

Quoting Jano (Reply 10):
This can easily happen with award tickets. I can see they have seats in proper buckets, but the web site just is not able to connect all flights together and price it. So, a phone call takes care of that.

That again is heavily dependent on the airline. Some airlines can book most of their partners online (UA and AA comes to mind, except a rare few exceptions), but some (USAir comes to mind) require a phone call for anything other than US/AA, which is rather annoying.
 
bond007
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:13 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 8):
The change fee is the most ridiculous thing.

Agreed! I don't mind paying a small fee to change, since the airline is after all, potentially left with an empty seat on the original flight that they could have sold ....but I'm sure that doesn't happen most of the time, and It's ridiculous to pay as much as another ticket just to change.

Also, gone are the days where business expense accounts were limitless, and companies didn't care what they paid to change.

This is one reason, why for business, where there is greater chance of me changing flights, I try and fly WN ... and I fly a lot, i.e. every week, so there are some dollars lost here.


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OB1504
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:30 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 11):
Here's my problem with checked bag fees. It forces more bags into the cabin.

Spirit's solution has been to start charging for carry-on bags as well. How long will it be before the other airlines follow suit?

Quoting Logos (Reply 12):
Actually, my experience is that those fees aren't added to military fares booked over the phone. The 30+ minute wait I've had to actually speak to someone at points is not fun, however.

I would expect airlines to waive that fee if there is no other way to purchase those fares.
 
ubeema
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:13 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 11):
Here's my problem with checked bag fees. It forces more bags into the cabin. That means it takes longer to board and deplane the aircraft

You nailed it! I keep seeing more of these situations. It is amazing that even FA sometimes are "let me help you with that"

Also shocking to me is paying for bag does not guarantee it flies with you? Happened to my niece visting us. We waited at the claim until we ask AA service the status and they confirmed it did not make it. She boarded the flight perfectly on time! Then I asked do we get a refund for the $20 she paid, response was to call. The service person OTP flatly said "we need to make money too". I had big laugh, thanked her for her honesty and hung up.

Very soon we will need to pay to use the restrooms in flight.
 
jetwet1
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:15 pm

fuel surcharge on reward bookings.
 
flyiguy
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:48 pm

Sounds to me with all these fees that Southwest, while sometimes a bit more expensive still gets you out and back cheaper than the other carriers...

Just my 0.02
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seat38a
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:12 am

On my last trip from MSY to LAX, what irritated me was that I paid to have my luggage checked. Now when we get to the gate and about an hour before our flight, they come on the intercom and offer to gate check the bags for free.  
 
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canadianpylon
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:13 am

Quoting airbazar (Reply 7):
The change fee is the most ridiculous thing. It costs the airline nothing to change a date on the reservation. It was understandable back in the days when it actually required a human being at a city office to do that for you but these days with automated online tools it costs exactly $0. The only cost for changing a reservation shoudl be if there's a difference in class of service

The reason it is so absurd is because they don't want you to do it. Constantly changing flights would screw up scheduling, forecasting, revenue management, etc...

I've seen this fly in the face of the airline, also, and I laughed at them. When I was flying Air Canada to Calgary, I got routed through Edmonton. My dad was on 1 flight, and I was booked on a flight an hour later. When we got to Edmonton, I tried to get on the same flight as my dad, and the said my Tango fare required a $150 change fee. The earlier flight left with 40 out of 50 seats taken, so there was room for me.

Fast forward an hour later, and my flight was overbooked. The started calling for volunteers, and I laughed at them. They could have put on the earlier flight, but were insistent on getting their change fee. In the end, it cost them money to bump people.

Live and die by the sword, I guess.
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:18 am

Quoting airbazar (Reply 7):
The change fee is the most ridiculous thing. It costs the airline nothing to change a date on the reservation.

  

Actually, it does cost the airline - the GDS fees aren't exorbitant, but there is a charge paid for every change made.

The biggest reason for a change fee is to keep you from changing. Carriers don't want you messing with their revenue projections by making changes with impunity; there are more expensive, fully-flexible fares that afford you that ability, but carriers (understandably) charge you more for them.

That's why, for example, AS modified their change policy - if you're changing something that's currently more than 60 days out, there's enough time for AS to potentially sell that seat to someone else, and the change fee gets waived. If it's within 60 days from now, there's less likelihood of them selling that now-vacated seat to someone else, so you pay the change fee.
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Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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PA110
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:20 am

The last minute award fees are complete and utter B.S. There is no actual cost to the airline. There is no extra use of services. It's all done online. No human intervention. On top of everything, you're using inventory that was set aside specifically for the use of FF redemption, which means the flight is most likely very lightly booked.
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planeguy727
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:10 am

Bag fees serve several purposes:

1) Discourage bringing too much stuff (despite the overpacking we still see, the bags that fit onboard are smaller than the bags many people previously were checking)

2) Cover the additional costs driven by weight (fuel primarily)

3) Lower the amount of ticket price increases (hear me out). If the base fare is increased then the taxes go up, raising the the total cost for the passenger. The pax does not differentiate between the amount going to the airline and the tax on that amount (s/he is only considering the total). Bag fees are not directly taxed in the total price of the ticket so the amount is less (to the pax) and all of it goes to the airline. This principle also applies to fuel surcharges.
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alphaomega
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:56 am

Quoting flyiguy (Reply 17):

Sounds to me with all these fees that Southwest, while sometimes a bit more expensive still gets you out and back cheaper than the other carriers...

Just my 0.02

This depends on where you are travelling, for how long etc.

I hate these fees as much or as more as everyone else - I would rather pay for a ticket and get everything free, change my flight, seat, date, route, etc. whenever I wanted with no fee, and get a few drinks and a nice meal in flight...just like the good ole days!

The problem is simple business - Revenue - Costs = Profit. If you feel you can't cut your costs any further without impacting your operation (make of this what you will) then you must increase your revenue. Since most travelers look for the lowest fare when booking a flight, simply increasing the fare for a flight won't work as you'll lose business to the other guy who keeps their fares low. So, what do you do? Find other ways of increasing your revenue, i.e. baggage fees, change fees, lavatory use fees, etc. At the end of the day, if you just want to get from point A to point B for the lowest cost and service means nada, you fly the airline offering the lowest fare. If you want to be catered to your every want and desire, you fly J or F class and pay the flexible fare and off you go.

I'll be the first one to say the fees are getting ridiculous, but you can only bash airlines like Spirit so much - they fly full and they turn a profit, so they must have a market. Same for BA, DL, and even now VX.

On the flip side, I flew Allegiant one-way a few months ago, and on the way back I took JetBlue just because the final end cost of Allegiant was the same as the flight on JetBlue, and I also had DirecTV and more legroom  
 
dfwramper
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:24 am

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
3. last minute award fee - plan your trips a bit earlier perhaps ? BA Avios doesn't have this fee which is great
Quoting PA110 (Reply 21):
The last minute award fees are complete and utter B.S. There is no actual cost to the airline. There is no extra use of services. It's all done online. No human intervention. On top of everything, you're using inventory that was set aside specifically for the use of FF redemption, which means the flight is most likely very lightly booked.

Here's what I don't understand. Take a truly "last minute" award -- lets say 72 hours in advance or less. With all the focus on revenue and demand management, there are certain flights that the airline knows from their models that have no chance at all of selling out. Why not open some of them up to last minute awards? The administration of the FF program is already paid for. The issuance of the award ticket is virtually nothing these days. Allowing someone to grab an award seat on a plane that will absolutely depart with empty seats not only delights the customer who earned the miles, but also reduces the airline's liability for these miles in the future! Of course the airline's primary focus is to sell the seats, but at some point close to departure, when it's apparent they aren't going to sell them all, give some of them up!

And in the case of a real need -- imminent death of a family member or some other urgent need to travel -- the fees for the last minute award are like rubbing salt in a wound.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:39 am

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 1):
I hope you asked "nicely" if they wouldn't mind refunding you your seat fee...UA screwed me over once by moving me out of E+ to accommodate a family and refused to refund me my $59.

Next time, contest it with your credit card company. They don't take kindly this kind of behavior on the part of their merchants because it causes them trouble. It also looks good when they help out a customer with this kind of issue.

To me, the two biggest outrages are the carry-on fee and the failure to reimburse a baggage fee if lost or delayed (except AS, which guarantees your bag on the carousel within 20 minutes of arrival or your money back). The carry-on fee is especially unethical because almost every passenger travels with either a checked bag or a carry-on. Very few passengers travel with nothing bigger than a messenger bag. And so it artificially deflates the price of the ticket because virtually all passengers will have to pay a baggage fee in addition to their fare.

It's a pity that there will be no government action to address such issues as no return of fee if bags are not delivered. I'm paying you provide a good or service. If you don't deliver, then you at least owe me my money back. That's a basic legal standard of all societies in recorded history. Why do the airlines get away with it now?
-Doc Lightning-

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tyler81190
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:06 am

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 14):
Quoting Logos (Reply 12):
Actually, my experience is that those fees aren't added to military fares booked over the phone. The 30+ minute wait I've had to actually speak to someone at points is not fun, however.

I would expect airlines to waive that fee if there is no other way to purchase those fares.

Most carriers also will waive the fee for passengers with disabilities, which REQUIRE a person to assist in booking. For example, blind, paralysis, etc... Also bereavement fares.

Quoting ubeema (Reply 15):
Quoting ckfred (Reply 11):
Here's my problem with checked bag fees. It forces more bags into the cabin. That means it takes longer to board and deplane the aircraft

You nailed it! I keep seeing more of these situations. It is amazing that even FA sometimes are "let me help you with that"

If the airlines were to "strictly" enforce FAA guidelines for carry-on bags, then cabin baggage wouldn't be an issue. Word on the street is that UA will be enforcing the policy for all passengers regardless of class of service or elite level beginning this spring. Also charging for oversized carry-on bags to be checked. (standard checked bag fees)

Quoting flyiguy (Reply 17):
Sounds to me with all these fees that Southwest, while sometimes a bit more expensive still gets you out and back cheaper than the other carriers...

Depends on the route, and if you are checking bags, or plan to change flights, etc. sometimes yes, sometimes break-even, sometimes no.

Quoting seat38a (Reply 18):
On my last trip from MSY to LAX, what irritated me was that I paid to have my luggage checked. Now when we get to the gate and about an hour before our flight, they come on the intercom and offer to gate check the bags for free.

If they strictly enforced the carryon bag rules, they wouldn't have to do that. Also they SHOULD charge for any bags that are "over" the 45 linear inches, or if the passenger has more than 2 items.

Quoting canadianpylon (Reply 19):
The reason it is so absurd is because they don't want you to do it. Constantly changing flights would screw up scheduling, forecasting, revenue management, etc...

I've seen this fly in the face of the airline, also, and I laughed at them. When I was flying Air Canada to Calgary, I got routed through Edmonton. My dad was on 1 flight, and I was booked on a flight an hour later. When we got to Edmonton, I tried to get on the same flight as my dad, and the said my Tango fare required a $150 change fee. The earlier flight left with 40 out of 50 seats taken, so there was room for me.

Fast forward an hour later, and my flight was overbooked. The started calling for volunteers, and I laughed at them. They could have put on the earlier flight, but were insistent on getting their change fee. In the end, it cost them money to bump people.

Live and die by the sword, I guess.

Problem with this logic is: what if the flight later never checked in oversold? What if it just checked in full, and they let you move for free, then they would still be out money on that flight. I am not saying its wrong to ask, or even for the airline to do it, but they all have their reasons.

Quoting alphaomega (Reply 23):
I'll be the first one to say the fees are getting ridiculous, but you can only bash airlines like Spirit so much - they fly full and they turn a profit,

What I think is funny about Spirit is the fact that everyone loves to hate them. Everyone acts shocked (passengers) when they are charged for a carryon bag. It is literally ALL OVER THEIR WEBSITE. It is ALL OVER THE AIRPORT at check-in. It was ALL OVER THE NEWS when they first started doing it. Really people? then they go back and fly with them again, and claim ignorance.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):
To me, the two biggest outrages are the carry-on fee and the failure to reimburse a baggage fee if lost or delayed (except AS, which guarantees your bag on the carousel within 20 minutes of arrival or your money back). The carry-on fee is especially unethical because almost every passenger travels with either a checked bag or a carry-on. Very few passengers travel with nothing bigger than a messenger bag. And so it artificially deflates the price of the ticket because virtually all passengers will have to pay a baggage fee in addition to their fare.

Checked baggage fees, I think should always be reimbursed if it does not arrive with you, assuming no voluntary changes were made after baggage check. Carry-on fees were designed to reduce carry-on numbers, and make people just check their bags, which is why the checked baggage fee is actually reasonable versus the $100 carry-on. They work, but I don't necessarily agree with it.
 
wiseman85
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:52 am

Can we please add ridiculous "FUEL SURCHARGES" to this list.

LOOKING AT YOU -BA-    For having some of the most ridiculous charges.

I hope BA loses a lot of money in this class action lawsuit for the fuel surcharges on award flights. More countries needs to step up like Brazil and ban this "fuel surcharge" nonsense or any "Surcharge" for that matter. You should have your normal Secuirty/Facility fees and government taxes and that is it. Everything else charged is part of operating an airline and should be included wholly within the award ticket price! If that makes an award ticket that was once 100k now 150k+ then so be it. I am tired of the BS with BA.
 
tyler81190
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:05 am

Quoting wiseman85 (Reply 27):
Can we please add ridiculous "FUEL SURCHARGES" to this list.

I agree, I don't know why all airlines just don't lump this into the ticket price. CM is another one.
 
Mir
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:12 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 20):
That's why, for example, AS modified their change policy - if you're changing something that's currently more than 60 days out, there's enough time for AS to potentially sell that seat to someone else, and the change fee gets waived. If it's within 60 days from now, there's less likelihood of them selling that now-vacated seat to someone else, so you pay the change fee.

60 days is plenty of time to sell a vacated seat. If you're going to tell me 7 days you'd have a decent argument.

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 26):
Problem with this logic is: what if the flight later never checked in oversold? What if it just checked in full, and they let you move for free, then they would still be out money on that flight.

No they wouldn't, the revenue remains constant. They don't lose anything by letting him go on the earlier flight, because they already have the money that he paid to occupy the seat he's no longer occupying on the later flight. They wouldn't be getting any money from him for a seat on the earlier flight anyway, so they're not out any revenue there either.

-Mir
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DocLightning
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:35 am

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 26):
Checked baggage fees, I think should always be reimbursed if it does not arrive with you, assuming no voluntary changes were made after baggage check. Carry-on fees were designed to reduce carry-on numbers, and make people just check their bags, which is why the checked baggage fee is actually reasonable versus the $100 carry-on. They work, but I don't necessarily agree with it.

My view is that a ticket should cover one passenger and one bag. Provide hold luggage for free or provide carry-ons for free.

What next, charging people for wearing their own clothes aboard?
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EA CO AS
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:30 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 29):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 20):That's why, for example, AS modified their change policy - if you're changing something that's currently more than 60 days out, there's enough time for AS to potentially sell that seat to someone else, and the change fee gets waived. If it's within 60 days from now, there's less likelihood of them selling that now-vacated seat to someone else, so you pay the change fee. 60 days is plenty of time to sell a vacated seat.

You have much less likelihood of selling that same seat from the same fare bucket or above within 60 days of travel; forward booking windows have been shrinking steadily for the past 10 years.

Regardless, the point still stands; the main reason for a change fee is to dissuade customers locked in on discounted fares from making changes in the first place.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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tyler81190
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:39 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 29):
No they wouldn't, the revenue remains constant. They don't lose anything by letting him go on the earlier flight, because they already have the money that he paid to occupy the seat he's no longer occupying on the later flight. They wouldn't be getting any money from him for a seat on the earlier flight anyway, so they're not out any revenue there either.

Well, the usually $75 change fee for a flight change same-day is far cheaper than a fare difference. Over 60 days from departure, they have plenty of time to re-sell that seat in that fare bucket, but close in to departure, they don't. When you buy a ticket at the lowest available fare class, you shouldn't have the luxury of changing for free like you have a fully flexible ticket.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
My view is that a ticket should cover one passenger and one bag. Provide hold luggage for free or provide carry-ons for free.

I believe carry-on should be free, as long as it is 45 linear inches, and not a single inch more. Plus your personal item.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 31):
You have much less likelihood of selling that same seat from the same fare bucket or above within 60 days of travel; forward booking windows have been shrinking steadily for the past 10 years.

Regardless, the point still stands; the main reason for a change fee is to dissuade customers locked in on discounted fares from making changes in the first place.

Exactly. You get what you pay for. A full Y ticket offers free changes, if you need to change, buy a flexible ticket.
 
PHX787
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:46 am

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 1):
I hope you asked "nicely" if they wouldn't mind refunding you your seat fee...UA screwed me over once by moving me out of E+ to accommodate a family and refused to refund me my $59.

If someone asks me, I always refuse. I paid for the seat. I will keep that seat. It is not my fault if they cannot accommodate a family for whatever reason. That family should've booked their seats properly.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
1. the change fee aren't tiered according to (a) elite status, (b) price of ticket, and (c) duration between cancellation date and flight date.

That should be reviewed by the DOJ; I'm not a lawyer but this seems to be a violation of consumer protection laws.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
1. baggage fee - first carry-on is free and you can carry quite a lot for a short domestic trip of 5 days or less

I brought home no bags checked on my flight from Japan. Just a duffel bag filled with souvenirs (I have clothes in Ohio)

It;s always good to pack smartly. There's a plethora of YouTube videos that show u how to fit the most in your bag. But the weight limits are what kill me.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
2. phone fee - who still books via phone ?

If there's a major issue with their flight and they need to book a different airline, for one.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 3):
Not on NK or G4 it isn't (or F9 if you don't book through their website).

Then don't fly them. Easy as that.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
3. last minute award fee - plan your trips a bit earlier perhaps ? BA Avios doesn't have this fee which is great

Again, if the conditions are changed, then you have no choice but to change plans. I had a friend who contracted a stomach virus before flying to Australia. They had to change their flights the day of, and got ripped out of about $500.
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Mir
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:11 am

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 32):
Over 60 days from departure, they have plenty of time to re-sell that seat in that fare bucket, but close in to departure, they don't.

Which is why it costs them nothing to put him on the earlier flight - they're not giving up any revenue if the seat would go out empty. They get one more empty seat on the later flight which they could fill with another paying passenger - they likely won't be able to due to the short time involved, but they're still not losing any money on the deal.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:16 am

It wasn't so bad when the change fees were more reasonable several years ago ($50-75), as in some cases, you might get lucky and the fare difference covered it. What gets me is the "redeposit fee" airlines charge if you need to change an award ticket. They treat it in the same manner as a revenue ticket change and charge the same fee, just under a different name. I understand that some people abused the system and booked award tickets (especially cheap ones) and then decide not to take the flight.

Some of these fees are how airlines like Spirit and Allegiant make their money. Both airlines charge a booking fee unless you actually go to the airport to book your ticket (Who actually does this unless it's a last minute flight?). The boarding pass printing fee is another one that is a money grab.


The phone fees (like some of the fees) do have exceptions, as in some cases, in order to make changes to a booking, you actually have to call the airline. I recently had to do so because the departure time of an upcoming trip changed by 70 minutes due to a recent DL schedule change and I could not change my flight online (presumably because I had paid for the Economy Comfort upgrade). Because the change in schedule was over an hour, I could make a change (with some restrictions) without incurring any change fees (not sure about the fare difference, as based on what my itinerary is now, it was slightly cheaper than what I originally booked).
 
AussieItaliano
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:20 am

This is why I like the model we have here in Europe. If I want service and bags included, I can fly BA. If I want cheap, I can fly Ryanair. If I don't want to put up with Ryanair, I can fly easyJet.

I think that the bag fees should be slightly modified to allow you to check your hand-luggage size bag for free, and then a stamp can be placed on your boarding pass to reflect that (so you can't carry a second bag on-board without paying). If you reprint your boarding pass or you use a smartphone, the stamp can appear automatically. That will help with speeding up the boarding process since more bags can go in the hold, but the weight of the aircraft won't increase.

I like what easyJet does. They guarantee a bag will go in the cabin if it's smaller than the usual allowance, but if you bring a bag at the maximum size allowed, it might have to go in the hold.

Just my thoughts.
Third Runway - LHR, Second Runway - LGW, Build Them Both!!!
 
offloaded
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:04 pm

Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 36):
If I want service and bags included, I can fly BA.


BA recently introduced hand baggage only fares too! (If you can't beat ´em, join ´em!)

I'm a travel agent, and yesterday I happened to be shredding some old files from 2002. It was interesting to see the invoices and routes, and by and large, you're paying the same or LESS to fly in 2014. Not much else costs the same today as it did 12 years ago.

We had 50+ years of standardization in the industry, whereas now its a bit of a free-for-all which keeps us on our toes! (eg which fares include a bag, which don't, some are free, but long haul only. Or is it 20kg or 23kg or actually 32kg to Brazil! With some airlines we can add items in our GDS, others we have to log on to the airline's website.)

People may get annoyed with change fees, but it wan't long ago when many tickets unless they were top tier economy or biz class were not changeable at all. Now you can usually change even the cheapest ones.

For me, the fuel surcharge needs to go. It originally came in as a result of a spike in fuel prices, but that was well over a decade ago and its time it was incorporated back into the base fare. It may cases the surcharge is more than the fare!
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
m1m2
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:13 pm

I'm not sure if this one fits the topic, but it does appear on a ticket bought in Canada, not sure about elsewhere. It's called "Airport Improvement Fee" and it differs from airport to airport. It's usually somewhere around $20-25 CDN. Never liked seeing that one when you walk into an airport that has dirty carpets, ripped seats, the list goes on.
 
us330
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:24 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):
It's a pity that there will be no government action to address such issues as no return of fee if bags are not delivered. I'm paying you provide a good or service. If you don't deliver, then you at least owe me my money back.

Doc, I think you answered your own question earlier in your post:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):
Next time, contest it with your credit card company. They don't take kindly this kind of behavior on the part of their merchants because it causes them trouble. It also looks good when they help out a customer with this kind of issue

Contest the charges with your credit card company. I see no difference between getting involuntarily moved from an upgraded seat that you paid for (or a "choice seat"), and a bag that you paid for not arriving on the same flight that you traveled on.

Quoting wiseman85 (Reply 27):

Can we please add ridiculous "FUEL SURCHARGES" to this list.

LOOKING AT YOU -B

BA is pretty bad with the extra surcharges, which is all the more remarkable given that it's main U.S. partner, AA, is very transparent in terms of what's included and what's not in the fare. AA's onboard service may not measure up to BA's, but in terms of seat selection and ticket purchasing, I'd much rather go through AA than BA.
 
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:49 pm

"I paid the $25 fee twice on Air Canada to get an upfront window seat, and both times I was asked "nicely" if I can move to a seat in the back, one time for family with kids and another time for snow birds old couple, and I did both times because it was the nice thing to do."

I had the same thing happen on a USAirways LAX-PHL flight when the lead FA decided to social-engineer the flight and unite couples so that they were sitting together. When the folks who had purchased "Choice Seats" raised a ruckus, she called the captain out of the cockpit who gave us dirty looks but didn't do anything. I can understand how US got its 'cheap and cheesy' reputation -- which it has improved from recently.
 
smittyone
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:07 pm

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 14):
I would expect airlines to waive that fee if there is no other way to purchase those fares.

Especially since that fee will be 'Travel Claimed' by the military mbr/government employee and paid for by tax dollars.

The airline is already contracted to provide the service at some specific price/terms. Paying extra to book the flight on the phone, bag fees etc. are most likely folded into the contract and the government (via the traveler) shouldn't pay twice.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
My view is that a ticket should cover one passenger and one bag. Provide hold luggage for free or provide carry-ons for free.

What next, charging people for wearing their own clothes aboard?

Seems sensible, but as an alternative I would suggest that if a company insisted on charging for baggage, that they charge whether it is carried or stowed in the hold. All the current bag fees are doing is drive customers to bring huge heavy bags into the cabin and it's a colossal pain in the ass.
 
Jano
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:18 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 12):
That again is heavily dependent on the airline. Some airlines can book most of their partners online (UA and AA comes to mind, except a rare few exceptions), but some (USAir comes to mind) require a phone call for anything other than US/AA, which is rather annoying.

My hunch is (based on what I see with DL) that the above is true for most (99%+) 2-/3- hop trips in each direction on one or two airlines at most. What I had in mind was something more complex, something like 4 hops in each direction on 3 different airlines. Those kind of trips are difficult to 'squeeze' from the web site and a phone call is needed.
The Widget Air Line :)
 
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:18 pm

Quoting canadianpylon (Reply 19):
The reason it is so absurd is because they don't want you to do it. Constantly changing flights would screw up scheduling, forecasting, revenue management, etc...
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 20):
Carriers don't want you messing with their revenue projections by making changes with impunity; there are more expensive, fully-flexible fares that afford you that ability, but carriers (understandably) charge you more for them.

But it seems to work fine for WN! They actually get more business because of their refundable ticket policy.

As mentioned earlier, they are still get exactly the same revenue as they originally were for your seat, plus the change fee. The only argument is that they 'might' have been able to sell you now empty seat.

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 26):
If the airlines were to "strictly" enforce FAA guidelines for carry-on bags, then cabin baggage wouldn't be an issue.

Absolutely correct!

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:45 pm

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 26):
Checked baggage fees, I think should always be reimbursed if it does not arrive with you, assuming no voluntary changes were made after baggage check

And yet other than AS, that is not currently the case.

Throughout all of recorded human history in every society, a basic legal standard has been: "If I pay you for a good or service and you fail to deliver, you (at least) owe me my money back." Suddenly, this basic rule seems to not apply to airlines. It's literally unprecedented.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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ckfred
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:22 pm

Quoting ubeema (Reply 15):
Very soon we will need to pay to use the restrooms in flight.

Everyone says that, but really? When was the last time you say a pay toilet? ORD had pay toilets back in the 1960s. That's like back when airports had pay TVs, and those disappeared long before you could watch TV and sports on a smartphone.
 
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:16 pm

These fees are the goose that lays golden eggs for airlines.

from the article

Quote:
U.S.-based airlines were raking in baggage and reservation change fees at an annualized rate of roughly $6 billion last year, according to the Department of Transportation.

Without government intervention of some kind, I expect those fees to keep getting higher and expanded. Expect new fees of some kind in the near future!

Quoting m1m2 (Reply 38):

I'm not sure if this one fits the topic, but it does appear on a ticket bought in Canada, not sure about elsewhere. It's called "Airport Improvement Fee" and it differs from airport to airport. It's usually somewhere around $20-25 CDN. Never liked seeing that one when you walk into an airport that has dirty carpets, ripped seats, the list goes on.

YYZ renovation is long done! yet the airport improvement fee is still there!
I have cut 4 times, and it's still short.
 
tyler81190
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:04 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 33):
If someone asks me, I always refuse. I paid for the seat. I will keep that seat. It is not my fault if they cannot accommodate a family for whatever reason. That family should've booked their seats properly.

I agree... People should really choose their seats when they book if they want to sit next to each other.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 33):
Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
1. the change fee aren't tiered according to (a) elite status, (b) price of ticket, and (c) duration between cancellation date and flight date.

That should be reviewed by the DOJ; I'm not a lawyer but this seems to be a violation of consumer protection laws.

It isn't breaking any protection laws... It is in the contract of carriage, which is available for review 24/7 on the airline's website, or at any airport, and they will even email or snail mail a copy to you. When purchasing your ticket, your fare rules appear and they are listed there as well. It is clearly spelled out, and breaks no "protection laws"

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 33):
Quoting a380787 (Reply 2):
2. phone fee - who still books via phone ?

If there's a major issue with their flight and they need to book a different airline, for one.

IROPS rebooking is always free, they only charge the fee if you are making a new reservation.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 41):
Especially since that fee will be 'Travel Claimed' by the military mbr/government employee and paid for by tax dollars.

The airline is already contracted to provide the service at some specific price/terms. Paying extra to book the flight on the phone, bag fees etc. are most likely folded into the contract and the government (via the traveler) shouldn't pay twice.

Like said earlier, NO airline charges that fee for military bookings.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 41):
Seems sensible, but as an alternative I would suggest that if a company insisted on charging for baggage, that they charge whether it is carried or stowed in the hold. All the current bag fees are doing is drive customers to bring huge heavy bags into the cabin and it's a colossal pain in the ass.

If the airlines would strictly adhere to the FAA rules, this wouldn't be an issue. Also foreign airlines have a weight limit for hand baggage. Not saying I like it, but it is an idea.

Quoting Centre (Reply 46):
Without government intervention of some kind, I expect those fees to keep getting higher and expanded. Expect new fees of some kind in the near future!

Why should the government intervene? If they are going to limit what they can and cannot sell, why not just shred the de-regulation act? Then airlines wouldn't need to charge all these fees, because ticket prices would be double what they are today. These fees keep the base fares low, so if you don't use those services, you don't have to pay for them. I would much rather have the lower base fare, and charge for changes or baggage since I don't use those services very often.
 
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:41 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 43):
But it seems to work fine for WN! They actually get more business because of their refundable ticket policy.

Where did you get the idea their tickets are refundable? Most aren't, and those that are, are much higher-priced - just like the refundable tickets at their legacy counterparts.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
RDUCO
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RE: CNNMoney: 5 Airline Fees We Hate The Most

Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:52 am

Part 135 airlines are starting to look a lot better
Surf Air, Lake shore, Southern Express to name a few
for the alliance

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