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American Airlines A La Carte Airline Fees

A La Carte Airline Fees: Good or Bad For the Customer?

If you're searching for flights next year and end up with a seat on American Airlines, you may notice something is different when you check out. Starting in 2009, the carrier is adopting an a la carte pricing structure. If you're someone who gets frustrated when you have to order side dishes separately from your entree, you might not be a fan of the new system.

An unbundled fee structure means there would be lower base fares and the option to add on extras for, you guessed it, a fee. Air Canada has been using the structure for some time, and while some customers like it because they know where they could be saving money, others feel nickel-and-dimed by having to pay extra for things like headsets. George Hobica, founder of, says, "The fees are here to stay and there will be more of them. Honestly, I think it's better for consumers. If I pack light, why should I pay for the guy that packs heavy?"


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