Airfare may decrease because of fuel prices or just fare wars from airlines. But companies become more strict in terms of other ways to gain some money out of your pocket : on your conveniences. Every year they charge more for baggage allowances, cancellations, changes, snacks, drinks. Lets see what are the fees and how we can avoid them.
Where you can spend money
Here is the list of most common airlines fees:
- Checked baggage
- Overweight or oversize baggage
- Ticket change or cancellation
- In-flight food and beverages
- In-flight entertainment (including headsets, movies, and games)
- In-flight Wi-Fi
- Phone or last-minute ticketing
- Booking fee
- Miles/points manipulation (buy, transfer, redeposit)
- Seat selection/premium seating
- Priority boarding
- Unaccompanied minors
As you can see, the list is pretty huge and I may even miss something.
www.travelnerd.com has created handy online fees calculator where you can check and compare airlines fees.
Ways to avoid airline fees
1. Try to use carry-on
Most of the airlines do not charge for carry-on. So try to be smart in terms of packing.
We will talk more deeply in nearest days about ways to avoid baggage fees.
2. Book your tickets online and in advance
Try to avoid booking your flight on the phone, airline companies charge for that. There is a rule of 21 days prior to purchase award flight with miles/points. Otherwise be ready to pay $75. Still some companies, like Delta, Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, and Hawaiian Airlines , do not charge close booking fee.
3. Bring your own food
Think about getting few snacks from grocery store (not at airport because you would overpay).
You can also consider taking empty bottle from home and just fill it at concourse with water after passing customs.
4. Take laptop/book/headphones
Some airlines charge for movies/music/news on their entertainment systems. So do not forget to take laptop/tablet/book.
And headphones! – do not forget to pack, yes, they do charge for a pair of cheap headphones.
5. Take warm cloths
Air Canada, JetBlue, US Airways charge for sleeping sets (blanket and pillow). So just be more selective with clothes, when your are preparing for the trip.
6. Seat selection
If you are not very picky about seats – you can save some money on it. Because premium seats or seats with more legroom will cost you some extra money.
You can benefit of checking SeatGuru.com for seating tips.
7. Use frequent flier program credit card
Some credit cards can hep you avoid some fees. So read the rules and conditions of your credit card. Also they may give you access to airport lounges and make statement credit of in-flight purchases.
H/T: Miles for Trips