Don’t Pay These Easily Avoidable Travel Fees From Major Airlines
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In the wake of the pandemic, airlines had to adjust many of their policies to benefit flyers, as their industry weathered ups and downs (it’s currently on the decline, according to Bloomberg). Some airlines have made it possible for families to sit with their children for free, get reimbursed if your flight drops in price as well as get cancellations and changes free.

Even now, however, there are many travel fees that are bullshit and completely avoidable—as long as you know about them.

Never pay for a bag that’s “too heavy”

Airlines will always weigh the bags that you check in. Every airline has a different weight limit for checked bags; fees for baggage over the weight limit range from $100 to as high as $450 (this varies for international vs. domestic flights). Google “checked bag weight limit + [name of your airline] + [domestic or international flight]” to find the weight limit for your carrier.

You should always weigh your bag at home before taking it to the airport to ensure it’s below the limit. Step on your scale at home while carrying your bag and subtract your weight from the total to find the bag’s weight. Remember, you can always take some heavy items out of your bag and wear them on you if you find yourself a few pounds over the limit (eat or drink snacks, wear the heaviest coats, put on scarves, etc.).


Travel smart with these bags:


Avoid paying for a bag that’s “too big”

An airline will rarely check your carry-on bag to make sure it fits the dimensions listed on their website (it can happen, however, if your bag is obviously oversized). But if you’re checking in a bag, the clerk will ask you to measure it against their dimensions per their policy if it seems too big to the naked eye. It’s best to make sure your bag meets the dimensions of your airline. Google “checked bag dimensions + [name of your airline] + [domestic or international flight]” to find the dimensions. The fees vary depending on the airline and if the flight is domestic or international. The fees usually cost around $100; some, like Delta, can charge $300 on international flights.

Avoid paying for a checked bag

The good old days pre-2008, when checking in a bag for domestic flights was was free, are long gone. If your bag is small enough to fit under your seat as a carry-on, you can take it with you on the flight (or pack less to make sure it’ll fit under your seat). Remember, most airlines let you take a “personal item/bag” for free besides your carry-on bag. Most major U.S. airlines charge at least $30 to check in your bag for a domestic flight and $40 for international flights (some can go up to around $75 per bag).

Avoid paying United’s carry-on fee for basic economy

One of the few exceptions to the free carry-on bag rule is United’s basic economy tickets. They will charge you about $35 (this varies by destination) for your carry-on, so if you’re flying United, check how much their higher-tier tickets are for the same flight; it might be worth it. Otherwise, make sure you pay for the carry-on when getting your ticket online or at the airport before going through security, or you’ll be forced to check it in at the gate and pay a $25 “gate handling charge fee” for the airline’s trouble.

Avoid paying more for booking or changing a ticket

Some airlines charge you a fee for their help, and these fees are different if you do request help in person or over the phone. For example, this is what United says: “A fee will be charged for tickets issued by United. Service charges for ticketing with a United representative in the 50 United States and Canada are $25 by phone, $30 at a City Ticket Office, and $50 in person at the airport.” Find out how much your airline charges for doing their job and go for the cheapest option—I’ve called an airline while at the airport just because they would charge me double to speak to the person across from me.

Avoid paying to fly with your infant

Some airlines will charge you to fly with your infant on your lap (fees vary depending on destination). The same airline you fly domestically with your infant for free might charge you to fly internationally (looking at you, United). So make sure you look up the policies on infants before you book your flight to avoid being surprised with a fee.

And finally, if you don’t like paying for seat selection, there’s a way to avoid paying that fee as well.

Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/647755443/1D9msPDPGf3pos2f?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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