Adventure Specialist
Pascale LeJeune
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First American, Now United and US Airways

Airline fees going high in the sky

By Pascale LeJeune
Sammamish, WA, June 19, 2008 – We've all seen prices go up in the last few months, from rice to flour to gas, to fuel charges by cruise ships, and now airlines. Will these extra fees from airlines create a fee frenzy? Will it delay planes and increase air rage? Traveler be informed, just don’t shoot the messenger!

Not so long ago, we all used to fly with two free bags. When we started to get charged with a $25 tag for that second bag, most of us started bringing less “stuff” on our vacation. But now it looks like we should all be wearing our clothes on our back.

On June 15th, American Airlines started charging $15 for that first checked bag. Beginning July 19th US Airways will charge $15 for that first checked bag as well. United Airlines will start charging on August 18th. For those flying with elite status (those do not fly coach) the first bag is still FREE.

Could this extra fee end up delaying planes and hold up boarding? To avoid these fees, people will carry on more bags, which means boarding will halt as all the overhead bins fill up, which means that these bags will need to be gate-checked. Will the airline charge you for this extra service?

If you're traveling with anything more than the clothes on your back, here is a list of airlines to look out for… or you could make a statement and wear all your lingerie and clothing you’re bringing on vacation. Than again, the airline might charge you for using more air conditioning. (the 'overweight fee' is for bags from 51-70 pounds):

  • Alaska: First bag free; second bag $25 as of July 1; third bag $100 as of July 1; overweight $50
  • American: $15 each way for the first checked bag starting June 15; $25 more for the second; $100 for the third; overweight $50
  • United: $15 each way for the first checked bag starting August 18; second bag $25; third bag $100; overweight $100
  • Continental: First bag free; second bag $25; third bag $100; overweight $50
  • Northwest: First bag free; second bag $25; third bag $100; overweight $50
  • Delta: First bag free; second bag $25; third bag $80; overweight $80
  • JetBlue: First bag free; second bag $20 as of June 1; third bag $75; overweight $50
  • Southwest: Two free bags; third bag $25, overweight $25
  • Spirit: First bag $10 if reserved online, $20 at the airport; second bag $20 additional; third bag $100; overweight $50
  • US Airways: $15 each way for the first checked bag starting July 19; second bag $25; third bag $100; overweight $50
  • Virgin America: First bag free; second bag $10; third bag $50; overweight $50
It’s one thing to pay for a little extra leg room, but to pay extra for a window or aisle seat? Unless you pay full-fare in first class, business and economy class, there will be your extra charges on your next flight:
  • Alaska; American; Continental; Delta; Spirit:  No seating fees
  • United: "Economy plus" has 35-36 inches of legroom for $14-109 extra, depending on flight length
  • Northwest: Some, but not all, exit rows, aisles and windows cost $5-35 extra on domestic flights, 24 hours in advance of departure; $50 on international flights
  • JetBlue: Get 38 inches of legroom for $10-20 depending on length of flight
  • Southwest: no assigned seating
  • US Airways: "Choice seats" in aisles and windows at $5 extra, 24 hours before the flight
  • Virgin America: $15-50 "premium seat" fee for bulkhead and exit rows
  • Air Canada: costs $15-20 to get any seat in advance
  • Do you have a s tory about an airline weaseling out of their responsibility for flight delays that they've caused by overscheduled flights, crowding airports or just not having enough planes. Well, now they can assist you for a fee. It’s called Cus tomer Service. Your cus tomer service assistance will cost you today between $15 and $35 for booking by phone or in person.
    Oh, did you mean to check in at the curbside or check in the stroller for $2-$3 extra dollars? If you cant’ find a large plastic bag at home, Delta's will happily charge $5 for the plastic bag at the gate. Please also note that a $50 unaccompanied minor fee will now cost you $100 or more; carrying your pet in the cabin is up to $100.  So, make sure to double check with your airline for all these “extras.”  
    Isn’t it interesting that travel consultants charge a fee to assist you with your airline reservations? Maybe it’s because they are not volunteer workers, but truly care about their clients and will assist them from beginning to end with their travel arrangements. If you don’t have the patience to deal with the airlines, being on hold for hours at the time, and wasting your precious time, it just might be worth the consultant’s fee after all.

    Media Contact & Pictures Contact:

    Pascale LeJeune, Certified Adventure Travel Specialist (CATS), Experience Active Travel, 425.503.0389, Pascale@experienceactivetravel.com   www.experienceactivetravel.com


    Pascale LeJeune “EXPERIENCE Active Travel”, a Brownell and Virtuoso Agency, is the only Certified Adventure Travel Specialist, in the state of Washing ton and her business model focuses on soft adventure.  She has established and maintained clear standards for knowledge, experience, and competence assisting travelers who are looking for an expert in luxury soft-adventure. Adventure travel has developed in to a style of travel that includes families, couples, friends, and singles looking for an experience that provides something special, something out of the ordinary, and enables a closer encounter with the world and nature that surrounds us. Pascale works with her clients to determine which type of vacation best fit their needs, and weaves them in to tailor made, ultimate journeys.







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