Those sky-high fees for flying

Mark Garrison Jun 23, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Those sky-high fees for flying

Mark Garrison Jun 23, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Airline fees are scheduled to be a key topic at a Department of Transportation meeting Tuesday. Flyer aggravation about the fees is growing as they increase. Carriers now make billions in fees, more than ever before.

When it comes to fees, there are two extremes among U.S. carriers: the bold and the old. The bold includes airlines like Spirit, which piles on charges, even for carry-on bags. The old are legacy carriers like United, American and Delta, which have historically been less aggressive. But these days, the older are getting bolder.

“They’re charging for damn near everything that they can think of,” says Richard Gritta, professor of finance and transportation at University of Portland.

Transportation Department stats show revenue from baggage and change fees alone up 372 percent between 2007 and 2014. And that doesn’t even include money made on seat selection and food sales.

These fees are part of why airline stocks are doing better lately. Despite passenger protests, they are here to stay. And with all the airline mergers of recent years, there are fewer places to shop around.

 

 

 

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.