Holidays – Perfect Time to Experiment with Airline Fees

Most of the time, I’m all about avoiding airline fees (after all, I’m the guy who took a 10-day trip to Europe with just a carry-on). But if there’s a particular perk you’ve been dying to try, I’ll give you a pass over the holidays.

Listen as air travel expert Rick Seaney tells editor Anne McDermott which tips she should try:

6 Ways to Get More Room on a Plane

Two Reasons to Pay Fees on Holidays

There are two good reasons to experiment with fees over Thanksgiving or Christmas:

Improved airfare-to-fee ratio: Think about it: airfare is expensive during the holidays, but fees stay the same so you get a bit more bang for your buck – at least comparatively. Plus, if you’re paying $500 for a flight that normally goes for just $250 then hey, what’s a couple of bucks more?

Paying for Airline Food – Worth It?

Stress buster: During the holidays, some fees can be worth any amount of money such as an early boarding fee or a fee to get you in a confirmed seat in the front of the cabin. The latter can be extra valuable if you have to make a tight connection.

Other Fees to Try

Wi-Fi fees: These are usually fairly cheap, starting at about $5 or so – and can this perk can keep you and the kids informed or entertained on an otherwise tedious flight.

Extra legroom fees: These bigger seats can be pricy, even downright expensive – but on a long-haul flight, it could make the difference between being rested-and-ready or losing a day of vacation to cramped seat recovery time.

Fees for Airlines of the World

Forget These Fees

Food fees: Who wants to pay $8 for a sandwich that could charitably be described as styrofoam-esque? Not me, brother.

Baggage fees: Sure, there are times when you must check a bag, so go ahead and pay – or better yet, fly JetBlue and Southwest for the free bags. However, it’s not just the cost I mind – it’s the wait time at the baggage carousel. With a carry-on, you walk off the plane – and vacation begins.


Published: September 20, 2012