Several Fees Are Taking Flight at a Number of Airlines, Increasing Your Cost
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Several Fees Are Taking Flight at a Number of Airlines, Increasing Your Cost

You Might be surprised by increased fees when you book your next flight

August 23, 2018

Are you taking a flight soon? If so, get ready for higher fees charged by several big airlines.

New Seating Fees Take Flight on American, Delta and United

There have been a wave of new fees announced by many major airlines recently. American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines are placing a premium price on certain seats near the front of its planes. Why pay the extra fee? The airlines are betting that you will want to walk a shorter distance to your seat and depart the aircraft a few minutes quicker when it lands. But passengers aren't going to get anything extra with the United Airlines "Economy Plus" seating options, unlike American Airlines and Delta Airlines, which offer extra legroom. When paying the extra fee through United Airlines, you're just paying to sit near the front.

Are New Seating Fees Worth It?

So, are you willing to pay extra for a seat near the front of the plane so you can depart about five minutes sooner? That's about the average time difference between the very front rows and the very back of the plane, even when taking into account all of those annoying people who are taking forever getting their enormous carry-on luggage down from the overhead bins. (Because that would never be you!) But don't count on being placed in row four. If you pay the fee for a flight with United Airlines, for example, you'll probably be placed behind Economy Plus, which ends at row 21 on United's 737 aircraft, which seems like a waste of money even if you are trying to make a tight connection.

Southwest nixes peanuts and increases cost of Early Bird Check-In

Southwest Airlines is making a few changes of its own. You can say goodbye to peanuts onboard Southwest Airlines flights, which is an effort to cut some of its rising costs. Do you use Early Bird Check-In? It's no longer going to be a flat $15 fee. Beginning August 29, 2018, it will cost $15, $20, or $25 per one-way route to do an Early Bird Check-In. The amount you pay will be based upon the length of the flight. But the Early Bird Check-In doesn't guarantee you a certain boarding position. It merely improves your seat selection options to help you get a more preferable seat. Travel+Leisure reports that Southwest Airlines netted more than $350 million in 2017 alone from Early Bird Check-In fees, which will only increase with the new tiered fee system.

JetBlue Increases a Number of Fees

JetBlue is making a number of changes in baggage fees, pet fees, change fees, and cancellation fees. These fees are an attempt to cut costs by approximately $300 million per year in the face of employee layoffs and buyouts. There is no firm date for these fees taking effect, but you can bet they will be implemented very soon.