The addition of various types of charges to advertised airfare pricing has become a common practice in the airline industry. These charges include checked baggage fees, booking fees and various service charges. About $3.3 billion in baggage fees and $2.38 million in reservation charges were collected by US airlines in 2011. This practice often limits price comparisons by consumers across airlines as these charges are added at the end of the booking process.
As airlines continue to try to boost their revenue, new fees are emerging. Recent additions include the optional “seat selection charges” by various low-cost – and “full service” – airlines for choosing preferred seats on the flights.
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‘Hidden’ airline charges: Dirty tricks or customer choice?