Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Introducing new airline fees for 2011

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
John Steinbeck

An avid traveller I pack up the kids and fly off to some European destination once a month on average. In order to keep up this rhythm costwise (because emotionally we are full of beans when it come to travelling) we fly easyjet most times. Therefore, I am not a happy camper when I start hearing about how the low cost companies are planing to hike up their prices.

It's a fact that airlines made most of their operating profit in 2010 from all those added fees that we love to hate.

It seems to me that airlines have thought of every possible way to squeeze more money out of you, charging extra for everything from early boarding to checking bags, but alas.... here are some fees that you might "bump" into in 2011:

Infant fees: Europe's Ryanair, never shy about adding new fees, (remember the rumour about "using the bathroom" fees a while back) charges 20 Euros each way for lap children.

In person check-in fees: What if airlines start charging a fee to check in with a live agent? You'll weigh and measure your bags at home, calculate and pay any fees online before leaving for the airport, print out a boarding pass and then drop any bags off with bag check staff at the conveyor belt. Otherwise, you'll pay an in-person check in fee.

Using a credit card: some European airlines already charge a small fee for ticket purchases but there's always room for change (upwards).

Checked bag fees by the kilo: many airlines charge a flat fee for bags weighing up to 20 or 30 kg, and then charge by the kilogram for anything over and above. Your bag could cost way more than your fare if you had to pay it by weight. This point is the one that scares me the most personally....where am I stow away all my shopping?!?

Carry-on bag fees: Last year, an Amercian airline began charging up to USD 45.- for carry-ons that don't fit under the seat in front and seems to be still flying. Easyjet is not far from catching on to that in my opinion!

Last but not least:
Internet "convenience fee":  Ryanair charges 5 Euros per passenger each way to “cover costs associated” with its booking system. 

I'm wondering at this point: "Whose convenience is this, anyway?"


gladys van Oosterum said...

Oh God, u know, if the low cost airlines keep this up, people will end up paying 50-75 euros more and go back to regular airlines, its just not worth the hassle....

Nick Jacobs said...

I'm always wondering how I can avoid airline fees. I spend so long looking for cheap tickets, I'm not inclined to spend more money. Does anyone have good suggestions?

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