By Kathy Steinemann
Have you established a budget for your next vacation? One big expense is the cost of airfare. However, did you know that your plane ticket isn’t the only thing you must pay for when you fly? There are many hidden extras you will have to cover. That cheap flight you see advertised on the Internet could end up costing you a lot more than you realize! Hidden airline fees can eat away at your wallet and increase the cost of a holiday appreciably. This article discusses surcharges and provides advice for how to deal with some of them. Reservation Surcharge You could end up paying anywhere from $5 to $25 extra if you book a reservation by phone, at the airport, or through a ticket office.
Surcharges are even levied by some airlines for online fare bookings. Fuel Surcharges Although fuel surcharges are relatively low at present, with the rising cost of jet fuel, you can expect to see more increases over the coming months and years. Passengers tend to balk at rising fares, but seem to overlook fuel surcharges as a part of our current economy. Airport Charges Passenger facility charges can add an extra $3-$18 to your fare each way. Extra or Overweight Bag Fees Pack light! Extra or overweight bags may end up costing you anywhere from $25 to $100. Add a second extra bag, and the price can go up to $35. If a three-member family travels with six extra non-overweight bags, it will add $180 one-way or $360 return to the total airfare (more if any of the bags are overweight). If you are really careful, you might be able to fit everything into one carry-on bag. Imagine no hassles waiting for your luggage on the carousel or worries about lost luggage! You could save both time and money. Some smart travelers ship everything except their carry-on bag via courier or express mail when feasible. They end up paying less than what the airlines charge. An added bonus: online tracking and no lost luggage. They always know where their bags are.
Child-on-Lap Surcharge Carrying a child on your lap during a flight does not use an extra seat, but you will may have to pay anywhere from $10 to 10% extra. Seat Assignment Fee If you want a specific seat on the plane, you might have to pay anywhere from $5 to $20 each way. Wi-Fi Internet Most business people do not balk at paying extra for Wi-Fi (typically $6-$13), but it is an extra charge that you should be aware of before you travel – especially if more than one person in your group wants to use the Internet. Food and Liquor Most airlines charge extra for food on domestic flights, from peanuts to salads – and it’s not cheap. A single can of beer can cost upwards of $5. Pack your lunch and save a bundle! Pillows, Blankets, and Headphones Creature comforts like pillows and blankets will cost extra, too. Inflatable travel pillows are a good alternative to those provided by airlines (and will only have YOUR germs on them). Pack your own headphones and lightweight blankets. What’s Left? Rumors are that some airlines may be planning to charge for washroom use and carry-on luggage. Good News in the USA The good news in the US is that the Department of Transportation will soon require airlines to disclose fees up front. This means that advertised rates will have to include all taxes and surcharges. Airlines will also be required to refund checked bag fees for lost luggage. With the new regulations, what the airlines charge will remain the same, but you will know what to expect when you book your fare. Carry a Credit Card Be sure to take your credit card along! Cash is not accepted by most carriers for onboard incidentals.
About the Author: Kathy provides travel information and tips to several travel-related sites such as 111 Travel Directory and the popular travel tips site, 1000Tips4Trips.com. Article source: 111 Travel Directory: Triple1.com