Are New Airline Fees On The Way? Wait Until You See This... - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Are New Airline Fees On The Way? Wait Until You See This...

KHQ.COM - Ready for more airline fees — for traveling with an infant or perhaps bringing a carry-on bag?

George Hobica, founder of the travel website Airfarewatchdog, predicted U.S. airlines will be tempted to adopt new fees to compensate for higher fuel costs. After all, the nation's airlines collected more than $6 billion from such fees in the first nine months of 2010, according to federal statistics, swelling profits for some airlines.

Hobica drafted a list of possible charges, some of which he said have already been imposed in the U.S. or Europe. For example:

Infant fee: A charge to hold a baby on your lap during a flight. Europe's budget airline Ryanair charges 20 euros, or roughly $30, each way.

In-person check-in fee: a charge to check in with an airline employee instead of checking in online or at a kiosk at the airport.

Credit card fee: A charge for buying tickets with a credit card. Some foreign airlines already charge a small fee to passengers who don't pay for their tickets with cash or with a preferred credit card.

Lock-in fee: A charge to lock your fare for three to seven days while you consider buying a ticket.

Continental Airlines introduced the option in December, and several European carriers already had been charging for such price insurance.

Carry-on bag fee: A charge to bring luggage in the cabin that doesn't fit under the seat. Florida-based Spirit Airlines added a charge of up to $45 for such bags last year.

Although new airline fees in the last few years have prompted many travelers to choose a different mode of transportation, Hobica says most are resigned to paying those costs.

But after publishing his list of possible airline fees on Airfarewatchdog.com, he said the most common response from website visitors was, "Don't give the airlines any ideas."

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