TripInsurance.org recently posted an article about the sneaky fees that most airlines now add to ticket prices. Because fees aren’t subject to federal taxes, airlines save a substantial amount of money by charging fees instead of raising fares. Baggage fees are among the most popular, but many airlines charge additional fees for ticket changes, bookings, unaccompanied minors, seat selections, and premium seat perks.
A class action lawsuit was filed against Spirit Airlines earlier this month due to a “Passenger Usage Fee” that the airline charged customers for booking travel online or over the phone. The only way to avoid the fee was to purchase tickets at the airport, which is a major inconvenience for most. Attorneys argue that this fee is actually a fare.
Between 2008 and 2011, Spirit earned $142 million from the fee. It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit and new DOT regulations affect airline fees as a whole.