With airline travel becoming popular again, airlines want more money from passengers. If flying wasn’t expensive enough, expect new airline fees in 2012 as airlines continue to battle for your dollar.
With new airline mergers and airfare prices on the rise,airlines are looking for ways to pull in more money through new airline fees. Airfares are already up as American, Delta, and Southwest, and others have raised their ticket prices in 2012. While airline tickets now include taxes and fees in their prices, the costs of flying are adding up.
New airline fees in 2012 and beyond
What new airline fees can passengers expect in 2012? While not all of these are certain, here are some new fees that you may see in 2012 and beyond:
Infant Fees - Currently, children under 2 can fly on their parents’ lap. While the safety of a child is at risk, airlines allow it. Now they may charge you a new airline fee for that child. (Note that the National Transportation Safety Board doesn’t recommend any child on a lap).
In-person assistance - Many airlines charge customers $15 – $25 to make a reservation over the phone. Now this same fee could apply for any assistance at an airport counter. If the phone fee already applies, the counter fee won’t be far behind.
Bathroom fees - This idea started with RyanAir in Europe. The idea of charging people to go to the bathroom on the plane may seem absurd but Ryanair has airlines thinking.
Lock in your airfare fee - In 2010, Continental introduced the FareLock fee where you can pay to lock in your airfare for 3 days up to a week. This fee could become a reality for most airlines and could actually benefit passengers.
In other words, welcome to the family airline fee.
International baggage fees - Nearly every airline charges passengers for their baggage. Currently, most airlines allow at least one checked bag on international flights for free. Airlines may now consider charging for bags on international flights also.
Ticket transfer fee - This is another fee that might help passengers. If you purchase a non-refundable ticket, you may be able to pay a fee to transfer the ticket to another passenger.
Carry-on fee - Spirit Airlines was the first to start charging passengers for their carry on. Now other airlines may follow. Rather than charging a flat fee, you may be charged by the pound or charge an amount over a certain weight.
Internet booking fee - Whether you buy over the phone or online, you may have to pay to book your next flight. This fee may be minimal but the costs could add up. Booking your next flight online may cost even more.
Airline loyalty program fee - Most airline loyalty program members don’t fly very often. As a result, airlines may exclude some members from certain privileges. A fee could be implemented for those members who want to keep those privileges or don’t fly enough or members may be excluded from certain privileges resulting in more fees.
Baggage distance fee - To put it simply, the further you fly the more your bags will cost you. A checked bag means more weight on the plane requiring more fuel. Your bag may be charged for how far you fly.
Credit Card Fees - Airlines may charge you a fee if you book your airfare online using a credit card. This fee will help them pay the fee the credit cards charge you. While this may happen, it’s a dangerous fee to implement as this policy could be used by various businesses in a number of different industries.
Airline fees – the revenue of the future
Many regard these new airline fees as a way to combat the rising costs of oil. Others see this as a way for airlines to scrape the barrel to get even more revenues.
For some airlines, as much as 50 percent of their revenues came from fees. What does this mean for airports? Will fees vary by airport?
The world of air travel is changing. You can still find cheap flights by doing your homework. However, the cost of flying isn’t just the ticket price any more.
Stay tuned to see what happens in 2011. Expect to see some of new airline fees very soon.
Will these airline fees affect your decision to fly?
Hannover airport (Flickr)
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