Airlines forced to show hidden fees, travelers appauled

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 4:21pm

The price of airfare is skyrocketing now that The Transportation Department says all airlines must fully disclose all of their fees on their websites.

If you feel like you're getting nickeled and dimed every time you fly, it turns out it's a lot more than pocket change:

It's been adding up for years: fees for buying your ticket over the phone or on-line, ticket change fees, baggage fees, fees for extra legroom, fees for aisle seats, and not to mention, a box lunch.

USA Today has surveyed the airlines and crunched the numbers.

That first checked bag can now cost you as much as $43, but an overweight international bag can run you up to $400 on Continental and United, $450 on American.

Changing a ticket can now cost up to $250, depending on the carrier.

Even booking frequent flyer award travel can cost you up to $90.

Spirit Airlines charges $30-$40 for carry-on bags.

“Travelers are feeling a huge level of rage. They're wary, their angry, they're strained in their personal lives and certainly in their finances," stated Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure magazine.

After losing $65 billion over the last ten years, the airlines insist those extra fees are the only way they can turn a profit.

"Airlines need to be profitable. Without provide jobs, they can't provide service to the destinations the customers want to fly to," said Jean Medina with the ATA.

Still, to a lot of passengers, it feels like gouging. Unfortunately, the reality is, if you plan to fly, there's no escaping the squeeze.

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