Be Prepared For New Airline Fees

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HAMILTON – Preparations needed before travelers take their next flight may look a bit more like preparing for a trek through the wilderness than what most of us generally consider normal preparations for an airline flight.

“If airline fees get out of hand, packing light could take on a new meaning as passengers would not only attempt to pack light enough for all of their belongings to fit under the seat in front of them but might also need to lighten their load by purging themselves in airport terminal restrooms in order to avoid restroom fees on some flights,” said Tracy E. Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

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One discount airline, Spirit Airline, announced earlier this week that it would initiate a fee for carry on luggage which cannot be stored below the seat and must be stowed in an overhead bin. A second carrier, Ryanair (European discount carrier) even talked about a charge for using the restroom onboard the aircraft for flights of an hour or shorter. While the latter of the two fees was reportedly and/or possibly more of a public relations move than a serious consideration, the fact remains that fees continue to be an issue for many travelers. Airline booking fees, taxes, fuel surcharges, baggage fees and so many more, make knowing the actual final cost of your airplane trip more difficult than ever according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

“Travelers heading out for summer vacation this year could be surprised and a bit frustrated if they are not well-informed and prepared,” said Noble.

Many fees can be avoided with good planning. AAA offers the following considerations:

  • Double check the final COST of your airline ticket before you approve the purchase
  • Know your airlines baggage fee schedule and pack accordingly
  • Use a color scheme to pack so that you can mix and match thus carrying less
  • Purchase 3 oz. or smaller containers for all liquids which can fit in a 1 quart see through zip lock bag so that you can carry them on rather than having to check just because your liquids/gels cannot go through the TSA security checkpoint
  • Pack non-liquid snacks in order to avoid more expensive airport prices and/or the need to purchase food in flight
  • Check in on-line 24 hours prior to departure and some airlines will offer a slight discount per checked bag
  • Avoid having to tip skycaps for curbside baggage check-in by going to the counter to check bags

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