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The airline industry has been struggling to make money since the beginning of flight. But because of their mismanagement, the consumer now has to pay.

Although certain perks such as comfortable seats and WiFi may be worth the extra charges, the escalating fees airlines are now charging have become a joke. The industry has gone above and beyond to charge passengers for everything from the aisle seat to printing a boarding pass. And when you add up these airline fees, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your money accrues.

Many of the following fees used to be hidden. Though now airlines don’t even bother disguising them.

6 Hidden Fees Airlines No Longer Care About Disguising

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Checking Luggage

Having your personal belongings on-hand such as clothes, shoes, and the essentials is a necessity when traveling. But whether your bag is oversized or well within the weight requirements, most airlines tack on fees for bags each way.

If you fail to pay for your baggage ahead of time, you’ll be charged even more money if you pay at the check-in counter. If your purse or bag fails to fit underneath the seat of the plane, some airlines charge to use the overhead bin.

Fees can range anywhere between $5 and $25 per flight.

Reservations

Traveling by car can be a great way to see the world. But not everyone has the kind of time that it takes to take a road trip. So if you decided to travel by plane, you want to be careful how you make your reservations.

Although you might think it best to talk to customer service or book your trip in person, some airlines charge anywhere between $5 and $25 for this so-called luxury. You can save money by searching the Internet and booking your own travel plans.

entrepreneur computer laptop

Re-banking Flyer Mileage

You work hard to earn your airline mileage points. But if you’re unable to use your ticket, you may be hit with a charge to keep the miles.

Fees can range between $50 and $100 to place miles back in your account after making a cancellation. We think this is a pretty obnoxious airline fee.

Frequent Flyer Mileage Without Advance Notice

There are so many restrictions involved in using your frequent flyer mileage that they often go unused.

Another hidden fee associated with flying is being charged up to $100 for using mileage without advance notice. Whether it’s 3 days or 22, the fees associated with the rules are fairly outrageous.

Flying with a Pet

Traveling with your pet can be comforting for pet owners as it alleviates the stress of knowing if they’re being cared for at home properly.

If your pet is between a specific weight limit, airlines will let your pet fly underneath your seat in a carrier. But the fees have become excessive in recent years. Pet owners can expect to pay between $50 and $100 each way.

Pet Pug dog

No Refunds For Lower Fares

Certain stores such as BestBuy offer refunds if you make a T.V. purchase and the price is lowered the next week. But if you’re flying, and you notice a lower fare, you probably won’t see money change hands.

If they do, the amount better be worth it as the administrative fee can be as much as $100 or $200 for changes to domestic or international flights. Many airlines are adopting the “you purchased it, you must fly it” type of policy.

With so many different fees being charged by commercial airlines these days, a growing trend is to hire a private jet to get to your destination, and companies like Early Airway provide peace of mind from the start.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

    22 Comments

  1. You just always make such useful, practical tips for travelers! Thanks.

    • Thanks Carol! Glad the post was helpful for you :)

  2. After our year-long full-time travel, we unfortunately, know this all too well. Often times, it’s really not worth traveling the budget airlines because they just simply don’t care who they’re stealing from. The worst one is RyanAir, who we are still fighting with. There is one airline though that has restored our faith in low-cost airlines and that is Vueling. Thank you for this useful post, will check out Early Airway.

    • I’ve had pretty bad experiences with RyanAir too – hadn’t heard of Vueling though, so thanks for the tip!

  3. I had no idea there was a fee to rebank mile you can’t use! I for one hate the fees if you need to rebook tickets in general

    • OH absolutely – a lot of the time you just loose them, though if you’re willing to pay a reasonably expensive fee they’ll recredit them for you. It’s ridiculous!

  4. Ugh, you are right–these are all so frustrating! I particularly dislike the fee for re-banking frequent flyer miles and the extra charge to use miles for bookings with short notice. We use miles and points a lot and those are always hard to deal with! I’ve never traveled with a pet, so I didn’t realize the fees associated with it, Thanks for breaking all this down!

    • They really try and hit you on the frequent flier miles! I always take like 20 minutes to hit the book button, just because I’m always so paranoid I’ve got something wrong so have to check it 10 times over and say the info out loud so I know it’s correct!!

      We use points a lot too, though only when we know we’re 100% confirmed for the trip :)

  5. Airline extra charges are a joke…
    When you search for a flight, you think you found a good deal until they starting adding all the “extras”: checking luggage, pay for your printed boarding pass… The worst happened to me last time I flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They asked me to print my own luggage tag, or I would have to pay an extra fee for print it over the counter… That was insane…

    Thanks for the tips Megan,

    Nat

    • It’s ridiculous!! I love too how some airlines will charge yo to print a boarding pass at home, though some airlines like in your case will charge you to print it at the counter! It’s no wonder travelers get confused!

  6. The fees involved with frequent flyer miles and credit card points put me off using that strategy to get cheaper/free flights. There’s always a catch!

    • Always! It’s getting so ridiculous!

  7. I always think it’s so annoying when they charge you to check a bag, then make an announcement during boarding that the cabins are going to be full so they’ll “check it for free.” ARGH, you mean after I paid, now you’re willing to take them? No thanks.

    • YES! That is annoying!! Way to leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth!

  8. Ugh, don’t even get me started on hidden airline fees. My biggest pet peeve of all is that I have become extremely careful about carry on luggage allowances, and always make sure to be well within limits. It completely annoys me when the airline is a little lax on enforcement, allowing clearly oversized baggage through without penalty, and then I feel like the idiot who plays by the rules when I don’t have to!

    • It’s definitely annoying when you play by the rules and others get away with not. That being said it seems like everytime I do try and sneak through with oversized bags or extra luggage I always get pulled up! Even saw one airline weighing carry on luggage the other day, so they’re definitely starting to get strict with it!

  9. It’s crazy what they charge for nowadays. It’s one of the reasons I mostly fly Southwest. It might be simple but I always know what I’m paying for and they are very flexible with their frequent flyers.

    • Hey, if you’ve got something good going, no need to switch it!

  10. The one that gets me is the online booking fee. You mean I get to pay a fee for using your online booking sight? Am I paying for their web development? A bigger fee if I book on the phone? Either way, there is a fee.

    • I hate those too. That and the absurdly expensive charge for using American Express. I paid a $15 credit card surcharge the other day just to use my AMEX through Virgin Australia. It was insane! Though I don’t think that one’s just limited to airlines.

      But I agree, it’s a no win situation, you pay for booking online, or you pay to speak to someone over the phone. It’s laughable.

  11. I hate the fee for the overload luggage. Many low cost airlines try to make money on this, sometimes they check this even in the area where you can’t come back anymoe:) Only thing to do is to pay a fee. Being prepared and informed can save quite some dollars. Thansk for your trips!

    • I invested in a mini luggage scale which means I can weigh my bags at home before I leave. It’s made all the difference, and I no longer have to wonder if my bag is overweight :) Highly recommend it for avoiding those fees :)

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