You don’t need me to tell you airlines rake in a lot of money from fees, but did you know this year’s worldwide figure is expected to hit almost $24 billion? That’s a lot of checked bags.
Listen: Travel expert Rick Seaney is not fee-friendly.
Fantasy Fees – For the Moment
What else could you get charged for? Here are a few ideas for fantasy fees – at least that’s what they are now but who knows? And you can see more fantasy fees in my latest column for ABC News. I’d like to hear your ideas, too.
1. Barista Fee
Some of the new 777s have cappuccino machines onboard and I can personally vouch for the tastiness of these coffee drinks. However, these machines don’t come cheap (though I recently saw Macy’s had a De’Longhi model on sale for $249). But I suspect any fancy cup of joe will be treated the same as an alcoholic beverage so expect a $5 java fee in the future.
2. Disobedience Fee
Thanks to a recent ruling by the FAA, you will be able to continue using your electronic devices (in airplane mode) during take-offs and landings, so you no longer have to worry about flight attendants ordering you to “Turn it off!” You will however have to worry about them ordering you to “Buckle up!” and no amount of tipping the flight attendant will free you from this. Violators should expect a fee/fine along the order of $20.
3. Legal Fee
Airlines are shelling out money to lawyers like crazy thanks to bankruptcies and mergers and it’s not cheap. According to one media report from 2012, American Airlines was being billed about $20 million a month in fees and expenses just for bankruptcy matters. Could these charges be passed along to customers via a fee based on length of flight, say in the form of a lawyerly $100 an hour? You never know. More likely it’ll just be folded into the price of a ticket.