LEE COUNTY, Fla. - If you flew over Thanksgiving, you know these days, you're not just paying for a ticket anymore. Additional fee after fee can make flying a real financial burden. But, there are ways to help keep those costs down.
"The airlines are getting greedier and greedier," Travel agent Jinya D'India said.
For years, D'India, of Adventure Travel in Cape Coral has watched airlines tack on extra fees for just about everything. "Nowadays, even to have a blanket and a pillow is at least $7. Frankly, I'm waiting til they start charging to use the restroom," D'India said.
In the first quarter of this year, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports airlines collected $1.3 billion for baggage and other fees. And the Consumer Travel Alliance estimated flyers would dish out and additional $167 million on hidden airline fees over the Thanksgiving holiday, fees that dictate Tim Salvesen's decision to fly JetBlue. "I leaned with them because one bag was allowed free and I stayed away from other airlines because it seems they're all charging for even one bag, which seems to be high," Salveson said.
There are way to avoid the fees:
-Book directly on the airline's website. Booking over the phone with some like Delta and United will cost you an extra $25. Book through 3rd party travel websites and it will cost you up to $10.
-Be careful where you sit. Some airlines charge extra for exit row or window seats.
-Weigh your bag before you get to the airport. Overweight fees could cost you into the hundreds.
-Rather than checking your bag at the curb, wheel it inside to save a couple bucks.
-To avoid costly bag fees, Carry on when at all possible. Some have even found it cheaper and less of a hassle to actually ship their bags to their destination!
-For extra comfort and savings in-flight, bring your own pillow and snacks, and buy drinks once you're in the terminal.
"What I wish I would've done is I should make a sandwich and bring it on board which makes it easier, both to have food and cheaper," Salveson said.
Another holiday tip: D'India says, if you're bringing presents in your carry-on do not wrap them. There's a chance T.S.A. will have to examine them and all your wrapping will be thrown out.