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Thursday, July 9, 2015

That's an extra fee


   Having recently booked some flights I had to again find out how the airlines have started using extra fees for every convenience they can create.  Often cheap rates come with a lot of extra fees.  Want extra leg room next to the emergency exits?  That will cost you.  Want to sit near the front of passenger section?  Extra.  Want to check a bag? Extra (Southwest being the only one that doesn't do this).  Picking your seat in advance? Extra. Spirit Airlines even charges for carry on bags and a drink during the flight.  This might make sense if the airlines weren't making record profits because of the lower fuel costs.  Remember when the airlines justified the baggage fees because of the high cost of fuel.  They didn't rescind the fees when the fuel cost came down.
   The fees don't end when you get to the hotel.  Some hotels charge for a room safe even if you don't use it.  Don't even think about taking a water from the room refrigerator as it will cost you $3.  What to connect to the internet in your room?  How about $10-$15 a day.  Want an extra towel?  $2. Want to have them hold your luggage until your check in time? $5 a bag.
    Ever look at the billing statement to rent a car?  Seems like every jurisdiction has decided to tax the crap out of their out of town guests.  Prepay a fill up fee so you don't have to find a non existent gas station near the airport? The advertised price per gallon has the hidden cost of automatically charging for a full fill up even if you left them a tank that needed only a couple of gallons.  Want to have your rental insured?  Most of our car insurance policies cover rental insurance but the rental companies try to scare you into buying their overpriced insurance.  I have navigation on my phone but was charged for an in car navigation system on my rental car. Want the convenience of renting a car at the airport? Often the daily rate is $15 or $20 a day more than a rental site a few miles from the airport.  With a long term rental it is cheaper to take a taxi from the airport to one of these off airport rental locations.

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