The 5 Most Outrageous Airline Fees

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Newscience, Jun 2, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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  2. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    I'm sure it would be a much more interesting story if they actually checked facts.

    They lost me on the Porter Airlines jets. Porter currently only flies Q400s.
     
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  3. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    True about Porter as you mentioned.

    But there's no way to get away from all the extra fees and charges if you want to fly a particular airline. And they know that, so the fees/charges won't go down, rather the airlines just increase them almost at will. Being an elite on an airline helps somewhat, but even with that it appears that some airlines (AC is a good example) are even chipping away at their benefits over time, as has been mentioned often on this and other FF websites.

    So you buy a ticket and by doing so agree to the airline's C of C, and then still have to pay additional for anything above just a basic seat, including picking your seat in advance (even for J and F seating on BA), and so many other charges, "perks", and many other things that used to be included in the price of a ticket a few years ago.

    Remember when just a simple airline meal on a domestic flight in coach was included in the price of a ticket?

    How times have changed!
     
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  4. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    Personally, I love fees. I want to pay for the services I receive, not the ones someone else uses and I don't. For instance, I'm strict vegetarian. Why should my ticket price cover a meal that I won't eat? Why should I pay for someone to ship his steamer trunk? My ticket is to transport me and a reasonable amount of "stuff", pillow not (necessarily) included. And, if it all allows the airline industry to make a profit - keep in mind that over the entire history of the industry, they've operated at a loss...nearly every carrier - I can allow them that. While people cry over fees, all that's really happened is that transportation prices have been de-aggregated. Yay, finally. (Hotels are doing it too. Another Yay!)

    All this said, some of the fees are probably beyond "reasonable", particularly change fees. Sometimes "stuff" happens. If it costs the airline $10 to issue a new ticket, don't tack on "punitive damages" and charge me $250.
     
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  5. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

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    I hate fees but I don't find most of them outrageous as they are usually avoidable. You can fly WN, get an airline credit card that offers fee waivers, or simply earn elite status. Anyone who pays fees chooses to pay them by not choosing a competitor.

    The only fees I find outrageous are some of the Spirit and Ryanair fees that cannot easily be avoided - and that's why I will never be flying either one.
     
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  6. Canarsie
    Original Member

    Canarsie Gold Member

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    I do not mind fees — but I have the sneaking suspicion that airfares are not lower as a result of à-la-carte services and products which used to be included in the airfare...

    ...and if I am correct, then we are theoretically paying for services which no longer exist for “free” rather than paying for someone else...
     
  7. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Exactly. That's where 365RoadWarrior's analysis falls down.

    If the ticket price had actually been reduced to a "no-frills" basic price, with the other add-ons being fee-based it would be one thing, but what the airlines have done is simply began charging a fee for what used to be provided as a part of the flight cost, without reducing the ticket price to benefit those who do not use the amenity.
     
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  8. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    While I understand this argument, I also want to ensure that a strong airline industry survives. The industry has been unprofitable for virtually all of its existence, especially in the past 36 years and ESPECIALLY since 2001. (I haven't gone through 2013 stats yet.) I'm a capitalist. I think the airlines should be allowed a reasonable profit. I think competition and choice are good. I don't think airlines are public utilities. There are a lot of carriers I liked that are no longer flying.
     
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  9. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I'm not saying airlines shouldn't be allowed a reasonable profit. I just object when they're essentially dishonest about their pricing, like the "fuel surcharge" added when the price of fuel suddenly went up (allegedly to offset the increase), but which is not removed when the price of fuel goes back down, and the airline instead simply trousers the extra money.

    Anywhere else (i.e., in an industry not exempted from state Consumer Protection laws) that sort of thing would probably be called "unjust enrichment".
     
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  10. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    I agree, and I'm also a lifelong capitalist. The problem however, is that with the past few years mergers, the possiblity of greater choices and more competition has decreased enormously, leaving the airlines at the point of charging whatever they want in both dollars and FF miles for their flights, and little possibility of having other options available at the time, what with the consolidations of routes and flights having less available, and full aircraft giving the airlines an easy reason to increase their fares. And when one adds a pricy "enhancement", they all quickly follow.

    There were six major airlines in recent times (many more way back when), but now with all the mergers there's only three, and that lack of competition leaves little choices for consumers. And the problem is added to by the many fuel surcharges and airport taxes, landing fees, and so much more continually going up and passed on to consumers, thus adding to the cost of flying nowadays, all the while squeezing more pax into tighter seats with less amenities to justify the higher costs.

    Competition, as we once knew it, is gone.
     
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  11. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    I think we're all fundamentally in agreement here. First, not disclosing fees, burying them, doing anything other than making them visible is wrong. We all want choice when we fly. And we all miss the days when we had choice...including at least one decent (honest) choice.
     
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