Airline fees reach $400 mark, USA TODAY survey finds

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    Airline fees reach $400 mark, USA TODAY survey finds:mad:

    The era of the $400 airline fee has arrived.

    For an overweight checked bag weighing 71-100 pounds, Continental Airlines is charging $400 on most international flights, and American Airlines is charging $450 on its Asian flights. United Airlines charges $400 for checking bags weighing 71-99.9 pounds on flights to another continent.

    Those are the most expensive fees that airlines charge fliers, a new USA TODAY survey of what 13 U.S. carriers charge for services available to coach passengers has found. The survey also found:

    •Fees for a first checked bag, which were nominal when airlines began them four years ago, now go up to $43. Spirit Airlines charges $38 for a domestic flight and $43 for an international flight for the first bag checked in at an airport.

    •Fees charged for the same service vary widely. Frontier Airlines charges $50 to change an international ticket, while Delta Air Lines and United charge five times that.

    •Most airlines have a charge for booking a "free" frequent-flier award ticket on the phone, and some charge fliers who do the work themselves online. US Airways has the highest "free" ticket booking fees: $55-$90 for a phone reservation and $25-$50 online.

    •Spirit Airlines is the only carrier charging for carry-on bags. Spirit fliers pay $30 for notifying the airline online about a carry-on bag, $35 when calling on the telephone and $40 at the airport.


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