Airlines picking our pockets

I just read in a travel agent trade publication that U.S. airlines made in excess of $1.2 billion in baggage fees during the first half of the year. To put that in context, it was their number one source of “ancillary revenue” (meaning everything besides the actual airfare). It was even more than they made in cancellation/change fees (which we ALL know are ridiculously high).

Am I the only one who thinks that’s a heck of a lot of money to make on something that the passenger really can’t control? I can live with charges for food/drinks (bring your own), headphones and blankets (ditto), and even a last-minute cancellation (that’s what travel insurance is for), but how am I supposed to go away on vacation without any luggage?

Guess I’ll have to stick with the few airlines who actually give my bags a free ride (like Jet Blue and Southwest), and stay away from the “legacy” carriers (like USAir, United, Delta, Continental and American) who, in most cases, charge $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second! Ouch!

Looking to check out the fees for yourself? Click here.

You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)