The world’s airlines – particularly low-cost carriers – are known, and often despised, for introducing additional charges for everything from checked luggage to preferred seats and even, sometimes, a glass of water.
Qantas has the highest per person ancillary charges among the world’s airlines, with an average extra fee received per passenger of $56.21 in 2012, according to IdeaWorks Company’s CarTrawler Review of Ancillary Revenue Results for 2012.
US low-cost carrier, Spirit, is in second place with average per passenger extra revenue of $48.72 while Southeast Asian low-cost carrier AirAsia X is at third place with additional fees of $46.31.
The top 10 airlines in the study by per passenger ancillary charges are –
- Qantas Airways – $56.21
- Spirit – $48.72
- AirAsia X – $46.31
- Jet2.com – $45.83
- Allegiant – $38.86
- United – $38.11
- Korean Air – $30.94
- Virgin Atlantic – $30.47
- Jetstar – $29.60
- Alaska Air Group – $26.10
While no one should be shocked that both low-cost carriers Spirit and Allegiant rank in the top 5 for capitalizing on the ancillary fee bonanza, it is a surprise that full-service airline, Qantas, and its low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar, both appear in the top 10 list.
Qantas, for example, charges a fee (currently AUD $25) for a pre-check-in economy class seat assignment on its flights from North America to Australia.
For travelers flying round-trip that fee alone represents an additional $50 – and depending on the exchange rate, could be even more. For the privilege of ensuring you’ll be able to sit with your travel companion or family on the long-haul flight, the additional fees often can make a difference on what appears to be the lowest cost flight and the flight that will actually cost you the least.