From charging more for window or aisle seats, to additional fees for early boarding and increased fees for redeeming frequent flier mileage points, most airlines are following the trend set by Ryan Air and Spirit in charging more for providing less. Check out an article on moneytalksnews.com for 6 ways to get around the latest fees – unfortunately, this works only if you:
- Don’t mind boarding last and thereby, risking finding no available space for your carry-on luggage;
- Don’t want to sit with your friends and family;
- Enjoy being squished in the middle seat;
- Never plan to use your frequent flier miles.
We suggest the following in addition to the suggestions posed by the article:
- For domestic flights within the United States, bring your sandwich, chips and a cookie through security in your carry-on bag – and purchase a bottle of water or soda while you’re walking to the gate. Airlines must provide at least water while you’re on the plane, but portions do seem to be less frequent and skimpier. Fees for coffee and/or soda and juice may be next on the fee list.
- Book your flights early when the best seat selections are available – and before the “less desirable” complementary aisle and window seats are gone;
- Join one frequent flier program even if you never intend to redeem the points for upgrades or “free” flights – attaining even the lowest level of an airline’s loyalty program may give you a few benefits (early boarding / upgraded seats on the day of the flight and so forth). This depends on the airline and program – review the programs for the airlines (and their code-share partners’ programs) on which you travel most and the ease of acquiring points before making your choice.
- Wear your heaviest clothing and pack the lightest. If you’re facing overweight luggage fees — and these days, some airlines are even weighing carry-on bags to insure that what you’re carrying onto the flight is within their limits! — wearing your blue jeans and jacket and packing your shorts can make a difference.
Some airlines are now hauling in more revenue from their fees than from their flights.
The additional fees and varying rates between what each airline charges makes a significant difference in the total cost of your air travel.