The airlines continue to be afraid to raise prices on their tickets. Instead they want to be competitive and offer a lower rate before they nickel and dime you to a rate that is probably higher than another airline.
What is the deal with these companies? Here is how crazy they are getting. And remember, fees usually start with one or two airlines and then the others follow if the outrage isn't too high. They test the waters to make extra millions.
Check in your bags at the counter in the airport: $5 on top of whatever bag fee already exists, like $15 – Instigators: United and US Airways
Want an exit row seat for more legroom? $20 – Instigator: AirTran
Instead of encouraging your purchase online, which saves them money, some airlines may want to charge you a fee for buying your ticket online – Instigator: Allegiant Air
Want to check in and use the ticket you already paid for? How about another $5 to $10 to do so. No way to avoid this ridiculous fee – Instigator: Ryanair
Want to choose a seat? How about paying to do so? We're not sure what happens if you don't pick a seat. Perhaps you stand up for the flight? – Instigator: Vueling
Want to get through security faster? $25. Instigator: United. I did this once thinking the lines would be long when I got to the airport and I could get through and do some work on the other side. I'm sure this will vary by time and place, but the problem is that United can only do this in certain airports where they have large volume. So when I did it in San Francisco, United's “Premier Line” was longer than the normal security line. It did also allow me to board ahead of some other passengers however.
Want to use the lavatory or get sick and use a bag? Ryanair wants to charge for it but they haven't started these last two yet. I wouldn't want to sit next to the person who doesn't have the correct change on them. Maybe they should charge for seat belts too.
We've already seen fees lately for checking a third bag. Sending a child on plane without an adult. Fuel surcharges. Blankets. Headphones. Crappy food. Magazines and newspapers. Oversize passengers.