MIAMI (CBS4) – If you’ve flown anywhere this year, you’ve had to deal with the conundrum of cheap tickets and sky high fees. Now, a study from USA Today has news that will make the sticker shock of buying a plane ticket worse.
According to a study done by USA TODAY, airline fees have reached an all-time high of $450. The fees are a way for airlines to unbundle their costs to passengers in an a la carte ticketing system.
Airlines claim the fees give customers more choices on what to pay when they fly. But, with travelers having little alternative to the increasing fees, it’s making air travel become more costly than ever.
With the most expensive fees on international flights, Continental Airlines charges $400 for overweight bags weighing 71-100 pounds; while American Airlines charges $450 for overweight baggage on its Asian flights; and United Airlines will charge $400 for bags weighing 71-99.9 pounds internationally, according to USA Today.
The airlines new business model is making air traffic more profitable for themselves.
But, with more of the flying costs being pushed onto the consumer, fliers are now forced to choose the products and services they want and how much they can afford.
Such services include Spirit Airlines’ carry-on bag fee where fliers pay $30- $40 to stow a bag inside the plane, according to USA Today.
U.S. airlines collected $1.38 billion in fees for checked baggage and reservation change fees during the first three months this year, according to the Transportation Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported on Sept. 13.
With the fees being key to their revenue stream, many airlines argue that fee increases are to offset low priced airfare but with gradually increasing fees, prices don’t seem to be getting cheaper, according to USA Today.
While many travelers try to avoid extra fees, the only loopholes are for high –level frequent fliers and those who use credit cards which cover certain fees.