Six Airline Fees Worth the Money

Airplane wing from window

You just got a good deal on an airline ticket when suddenly you’re asked to pay a bunch of fees. We’re all sick of fees but before you shut your wallet, take a look: six airline fees worth the money. All are relatively inexpensive and all could make your life a lot easier.

And here’s a list of fees you don’t want to pay

Early boarding

Early boarding fees are great for seniors, those traveling with little ones, for anyone, really. Travel with a carry-on? Early boarding helps ensure you’ll find room for your bag in the overhead bin. How to get this:

Airline-branded credit cards: If you have one of these cards, you may already have this perk; if you don’t know ask.

Southwest: This airline offers early boarding with its EarlyBird Check-in service for $15.

Airline bundles: Some offer several amenities for a lower overall cost so check to see if the airline has what you need but remember, if you can’t use most of the bundled items, this will not be a bargain.

VIP Lounge

Getting the use of a VIP lounge isn’t about the luxury, it’s about having an airline representative dedicated solely to helping lounge guests. This can be very useful when flights are delayed or canceled due to weather or other problems. Try buying a day pass, often on special for $50 or so. For full membership, keep your eyes open for introductory-prices around the holidays.

Bigger Seats

Paying a seat fee can mean more leg room, sometimes even a little more elbow room. Or may be you just want to sit in an aisle or window or simply want to sit with friends and family. On Spirit, seat fees begin a $5 but can cost as much as $100 or more. But if it’s comfort you want, it could be worth it.


Entertainment via WiFi sure helps pass the time on a long flight and it can also keep little ones happy and quiet. These fees typically start at around $10 or $12. If you’ll need to do some work on the plane, it’s a must.

Ticket Hold

Some airlines allow shoppers to reserve tickets at the price they initially found, for up to 7 days or so. This allows undecided folks extra time to change their minds about making the purchase without having to worry about the expensive change fee. There is a fee for this; for example, United Airlines charges $12.99 and up for its FareLock service.

Fast Security

There are two ways to achieve faster security:

TSA PreCheck:Membership in PreCheck is $85 for five years and you keep your shoes on as you zip through your member-only fast lane at the checkpoint.

Global Entry:Membership in Global Entry is $100 for five years and makes for a fast re-entry into the U.S. from overseas flights, plus, it includes PreCheck.

And there you have it. Six airline fees worth the money. We hope they help make your next flight a little smoother, a little more comfortable, without denting your finances too badly.

Rick Seaney
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