And you thought charging for baggage, blankets and pillows was bad enough. With the latest incidents in the Middle East which is driving up the price of oil and therefore, jet fuel, airlines are finding ways to raise revenue. Expect to see fuel surcharges coming soon, especially on those overseas flights.
What you will also soon see is some creativity from the airlines. An airline ticket is becoming less and less of a commodity as airlines begin to "re-bundle" services. Obviously, these services cost money, but were seldom used by the customer.
Allegient Travel Co. will bundle services so they will book not only your fiight, but also a rental car and hotel, or either one with your flight. In line with that, Airsavings, SA, which is based in Paris, offers conceirge services, including restaurant recommendations, theater tickets, and will re-book travel, if necessary. Of course, this makes your trip more expensive, but will come in handy if you get hungry at your destination and need to know where to go.
Advanced seat assignments from low-fare Spirt Airlines can cost up to $10 to $18 more per ticket. Usually airlines assign your seat at purchase time, but for some people flying low-cost carriers that don't assign seats, they want to be assured they're in the front of the plane (that way they arrive first) or on an aisle or window. Personally, I just take my chances.
Would you like more leg room? Delta Airlines will charge an extra $80 to $160 each way for four inches of more leg room and a seat that reclines 50% more. With United, you can pay $425 for an annual upgrade to Economy Plus for these premium seats. United is also offering a champaign brunch for $24.95 in advance through their web site.
Other services you'll see offered will include weather insurance, speedy security check-in, and early boarding, all of which are extra and are worth it to many travelers. Early boarding, for instance, helps insure that you'll get bin space if you don't like checking your bags.
I'd love to know what services you'd pay extra for when you book your next flight. Please let me hear from you in the comments below.