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What a week for Southwest Airlines! Yesterday, the only other airline than Southwest who doesn't charge a fee for your first checked bagJetBlueannounced that they would indeed begin charging fees on checked bags.
Bummer for JetBlue, as the change will be introduced at some point in 2015 along with new airfare tiers of service, but a boon for Southwest, who now claims the title of "the only airline where bags fly free."
Still, JetBlue flyers have no need to panic just yet. The baggage fees haven't yet been detailed with pricing (although industry standard is $25 for the first bag), the new fare tiers haven't been announced, and none of these changes will happen until some point in 2015.
Airline Fees / Spirit Airlines / Holiday Travel / Winter Travel / Luggage / Baggage / Checked Baggage Fees / → All Tags
A new baggage feeyes another onewill hurt holiday season travelers this year, but only if you're flying notoriously fee-happy Spirit Airlines.
If you've booked or will book a flight on the budget airline after August 19. 2014 for travel between December 18, 2014 and January 5, 2015, be prepared to tack on $2 to each paid checked bag fee. They're calling it the "Temporary Holiday Bag Price Change," but we think it only hints at a proper permanent hike to come.
With the new $2 fee, carry-on bags (remember, Spirit charges for both carry-on and checked bags) will cost $37 each if purchased during booking, $47 during online check-in, $52 at the airport before security, and $102 at the gate. The first checked bag is actually a slightly better deal, charged at $32 each if purchased during booking, $42 during online check-in, $47 at the airport before security, and $102 at the gate. Overweight, oversize, extra bags, and their "$9 club" fees all differ, so check out their site for more, but remember to add the extra $2 on to each price.
Airline Fees / Airline Jobs / Travel Jobs / Jetstar / Australia Travel / LCCs / Carry-on Baggage / Baggage Fees / Baggage / Luggage / OOL / CNS / → All Tags
Australia may be home to the "Best Job in the World," but with the ups come the downs, and Oz now also offers positions for what seems like the worst job in the world: "Cabin Baggage Officer" for Jetstar.
Working for an airline may be a dream job to some, but you'll want to steer clear of starting this low on the ladder; Cabin Baggage Officer is a brand new position designed to enforce carry-on luggage rules and charge any applicable fees directly to the passengers, at a point when travelers think they're already good to go. Our friends at Australian Business Traveller elucidate the Officer's responsibilities:
Just when it seems like airlines are only imposing new fees to negatively impact passengers, British Airways has gone and introduced a fee which actually helps. Starting now, travelers searching airfares on British Airways for travel on BA or Iberia may pay $5/£5/€5 for short-haul or $10/£10/€10 long-haul per person to place a reservation on hold for a period of 72 hours before deciding whether or not to purchase.
Alliance partner American Airlines offers a similar option, allowing customers to place an itinerary on hold for 24 hours, for free; BA's charging for the privilege may set a precedent for the future of this service.
While on hold, the flight price is guaranteed not to increase, but it can decrease (yay).
TSA / Travel Politics / Politics Travel / Airline Fees / Travel News / Airline Security / Airport Security / → All Tags
As you know because you've been following along, the new TSA fees that we've been trashing since 2010 went into effect earlier this month. They had been jammed up for years by airlines - more on that below - but the administration finally managed to get them passed. The old caps, which had been set at $2.50 per flight segment with a $10 roof for a four-flight round trip, were abolished.
Would you believe that TSA may have taken advantage of the new situation to collect fees even higher than what Congress allowed? That's the argument being made by airlines, who are now suing the security agency. Game on.
Travel Politics / Politics Travel / Travel News / TSA / Airline Fees / Airline Security / → All Tags
There's no shortage of domestic and international travel politics stories floating around. There's the potential for a new Cold War because of the MH17 downing. There's the 24 hour FAA ban on flights into Tel Aviv. There's even the ongoing nonsense about how airport security officials are threatening to confiscate electronics that run out of battery power during trans-Atlantic flights, which is something that happens literally all the time.
But this story about hiking airline security fees is - rightly - driving people absolutely out of their minds. We flagged this for you last month as a heads up, but we've actually been tracking these legislative efforts since 2010. The Obama administration has tried to raise the fees that travelers pay for security through the normal budget process, outside the normal budget process, and probably at least once via occult wizardry. Every time it was justified as a way to make people travel more, which is not a very good argument because it's not how supply and demand works.
Another day, another new fee for the airline industry and its passengers. The biggest surprise? The airlines have nothing to do with it.
In December, Congress approved an increase in the TSA fees applied to passenger airline tickets, raising the charge to a flat rate of $5.60 each way, up from the previous $2.50 each way for a nonstop one-way flight or $5 for trips that included a layover. The TSA has already said that it will try to add an additional $5.60 for segments that include a layover longer than four hours, most likely assuming that people with such wait times will exit and reenter the secure areas.
If you haven't heard, the Department of Transportation announced a proposal yesterday that would require airlines to be more upfront about the extra costs associated with purchasing a ticket, such as baggage and seat assignment fees. The idea is for these costs to be listed alongside the price of the ticket throughout the various purchasing outlets instead of at the last minute in order to give customers a more complete picture when comparing costs between airlines.
This is great news for us consumers, as we've all no doubt been there done that when it comes to being lured in by a low price, only to realize it would actually cost $50-$100 more after such aforementioned fees. And while one would think this would be a pretty reasonable request, the airline industry doesn't like it one bit.
Baggage Fees / Airline Fees / Frontier / Airline News / LCCs / Baggage / Luggage / Carry-on Baggage Fees / → All Tags
Baggage fees turn six years old this July. That's no cause for celebration, but travelers have gradually grown accustomed to forking over an extra $25+ to stow bags in a plane's hold. The real indignation comes of what will be the fourth anniversary of carry-on baggage fees, initiated in August 2010 by Spirit Airlines.
Spirit now charges passengers $35+ for a carry-on bag, and their success has inspired another American airline to join in the collection of these extra dollars. Frontier has just announced the start of carry-on baggage fees, beginning with tickets purchased on or after today.
To put the evil of carry-on baggage fees into perspective, not even the infamous nickel-and-dimers of Ryanair have attempted them yet.
Hawaiian Airlines / Hawaii Travel / Airlines / Airline News / In-Flight Comfort / Seats / Seating / Airline Fees / → All Tags
After a couple of in-flight Mai Tai beverages you might need a little bit extra room to stretch out and relax, and thankfully that’s now a possibility aboard Hawaiian Airlines. The carrier is jumping on the pay-to-play system when it comes to increased legroom seating, and now these options are officially up for sale to passengers.
You still might need to wait a few months before testing things out, but you can now at least pay a little extra for them and guarantee that they will be available for your flight later this year. These Extra Comfort economy seats will be first available on the carrier’s Airbus A330 fleet, and you are now welcome to select these better seats right on the airline’s website. Travel on or after August 1 is an option as of now, so you might want to delay that vacation until that time.
Baggage Fees / Baggages / Fees / Airlines / Airline Fees / Spirit Airlines / → All Tags
Go ahead and file this story wherever you keep the rest of the world's thoroughly unsurprising - but still kind of obnoxious - news. Spirit Airlines, because it is Spirit Airlines, rang in the new year by tinkering with its baggage fees. And by "tinkering" of course we mean "predictably increasing." Most of the fees they have, according to the Los Angeles Times, will increase by at least $1.
Remember, however, that this is the airline that has 24 different ways to combine fees, depending on circumstance, size, location, and presumably your astrological symbol. So when they decide to play around with their fee structure, reverse engineering what happened requires not just a degree in quantum mechanics but also a great deal of luck.
Airline Fees / Luggage / Baggage / Ryanair / LCCs / Carry-on Baggage / → All Tags
The impossible is possible. At least that's the lesson we've learned today, after the notoriously miserly European low-cost carrier Ryanair announced it would ease its policies on carry-on luggage.
Specifically, Ryanair will now allow its flyers to carry on 10 kg of hand luggage plus a second carry-on piece measuring no more than 35x20x20cm (14"x8"x8"). While that is still a relatively small allowance, at least it's free.
Additionally, Ryanair is reducing their "punishment" fee for passengers who do not print their boarding passes at home. Now, instead of €70/$95 each, the fee for printing a pass at the airport will be a far more reasonable €15/$20.