If you’re one of the millions of travelers jetting off to visit family and friends this holiday season, make sure you’re aware of extra airline fees that could be added to your travel package. Many airlines are adding a “holiday fee” for travel on certain dates, and you may be responsible for paying higher than average surcharges and other fees when flying with certain airlines.
Whether you’re heading to the Midwest for Thanksgiving or the east coast for New Year’s Eve, look out for these five airline fees over the holiday season:
#1: Holiday Flight Surcharges
Some airlines are adding surcharges up to $30 per booking for flights between the middle of December to the first week of January. Make sure you’re aware of this extra cost to your holiday travel when comparing fares and deals. You may be able to get around paying this fee if you travel earlier in the holiday season. If you do plan to fly over peak holiday travel season, take some time to comparison shop and consider low-cost airlines to save some money.
#2: In-Flight Meals
Many holiday flights involve multiple layovers and longer-than-average flights along alternative. You might end up eating several meals on the flight or at the airport, but not all airlines are serving complimentary meals. Since you can expect to pay $5 to $15+ per meal, consider packing your own food for a day’s worth of traveling.
#3: Early Deplaning
It might seem like a good idea to pay a fee to get off the plane first, but you can still expect to be battling crowds at the airport and when waiting for your checked bags at the baggage claim. Save yourself some money and wait in line – you probably won’t save any time getting off the plane and out of the airport.
#4: Checked Baggage Fees
Since many of the major airlines have already hiked up the rates on checked baggage, you need to pack as lightly as possible for your holiday excursions. Planning on taking gifts for family and friends? Ship them via UPS or FedEx instead, or make arrangements with the retailer to save with free shipping deals. Checked bag fees can run anywhere from $20 to $25+ per bag, depending on the airline and number of extra bags. Play it safe and pack with a “less is more” mindset to save on travel expenses this season!
#5: Booking Fees
All of the major airlines (except Southwest Airlines) charge a booking fee when making reservations over the phone. Stick with online booking when making travel plans and consider booking through a third-party travel site so that you can compare fares from multiple airlines and look at different dates easily. Sites including Travelocity don’t impose any booking fees at all. Still, you need to watch for extra fees including Travel Protection that get added to your trip automatically. You will need to remove this fee manually before you check out.