How to Avoid Airline Fees
Well, it happened again: Two airlines announced that they're increasing their fees. Starting this week, passengers on Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines will have to pay an extra $8 to check one bag and an extra $7 to check a second bag -- bringing the totals to $23 and $32, respectively, for those who pay the fees in advance online. If you wait until you get to the airport to pay the fees, expect to $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second.
Several airlines also have extended the $10 holiday surcharge to nearly 100 dates and increased the charge to $20 on ten popular travel dates, reports Stacy Rapacon in the February issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance. See Smarter Travel's Airline Fees: The Ultimate Guide for a comprehensive list.
So how do avoid all the fees and land a cheap airfare? For starters, consider flying Southwest Airlines, which doesn't have any holiday surcharges or baggage fees. If flying on this low-cost carrier isn't an option, book flights on less-traveled days and time your purchase right. For low-cost trips, look for regions of the world where local competition makes air travel inexpensive. See Fly for Less for more details on these tips.