More Peak Travel Day Surcharges

Airlines Piling on “Miscellaneous Surcharges” for Holidays in 2009 through 2010
Rick Seaney, FareCompare CEO | Friday November 20, 2009

The airlines are adding more and/or increasing surcharges to tickets this winter and spring; while some call these surcharges a new kind of fee, others see them as the carriers’ survival instinct kicking in.

The airlines well remember the need for fuel surcharges of up to $70 roundtrip back in the summer of 2008.?? Those surcharges were dropped about a year ago, as the price of oil came down from its high of about $140 per barrel back in July 2008 — but note that the cost of fuel is creeping up again.

So we are seeing new surcharges for the most popular days to fly, such as Spring Break: surcharges in the $10/$20/$30 range. Interstingly, these surcharges might not have been an issue at all for passengers, if travelers hadn’t also had to swallow bag fees and more over the past year and a half.

Some airlines have increased bag fees over the past year: adding a charge to a second checked-bag to Europe for example, and raising the price of checking a bag at the airport, vs. checking it online. And now as more and more planes are getting wired for WiFi, many airlines are charging for that too (but coupons and freebies abound, and passengers should take note). But today, the story is the surcharges.

Take a look at the calendars and charts; they show you the specific dates and airlines with new “peak travel day” surcharges, but please note:?? the airlines can and may remove these surcharges at any time –??or, increase them.

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Published: November 20, 2009