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Forbes Traveler Names Most Annoying Airline Fees

One word that can be used to describe the airlines these days: predictable. We may not know what fees will pop up next, we just know they're coming. Forbes Traveler developed a list of what it considers the top 10 most annoying airline fees, and I for one find the checked baggage fee to be the most annoying of all even if it isn't the most expensive.

  1. Checked Baggage, $10-$100: American Airlines will charge $15 for the first checked bag starting June 15, and a as of June 10 Spirit customers will pay $5 to $10 each way for the first two bags and $100 for each item thereafter.
  2. Talking to Real People, $10-$25: Booking through airline representatives costs $25 with Delta, $20 with American Airlines, and US Airways and JetBlue charge $15.
  3. Seat Preference, $10-$20: "Several American carriers now charge for seat preference within the coach section. United Airlines' Economy Plus plan is unique: For a $349 annual fee, one member and his or her companion are seated at the front of economy section whenever possible."
  4. Rewards Redemption, $75-$100: "Legacy airline travelers must shell out $75 if miles are redeemed without "sufficient notice"—considered three days on Continental and 21 days on Delta; American charges $100 if miles are redeemed for a flight sooner than six days away."
  5. Curbside Check-In, $2-$3 or more: "The charges have cut into some of the tips travelers leave for the workers."

There are five more annoying fees so


  1. Traveling with a Child or a Pet, $10-$100 and up: Fees have increased for unaccompanied minors and small carry-on pets.
  2. Changing a Reservation, $30-$200: "United Airlines has hiked its ticket-changing charge from $100 to $150."
  3. Paper Ticket, $50-$70: Delta and American Airlines charge $50 if customers want a physical copy of their ticket instead of an e-ticket.
  4. Airport Improvement, $4.50-$20 or more: "It has a number of names—facility upgrade fee, airport tax, embarkation fee—but the airport-improvement fee has one short-term impact: It makes your ticket more expensive."
  5. Fuel Surcharge, $30-$300: "Fuel now accounts for 40 percent of a ticket's price, and surcharges are regularly $65 each way on most major carriers."


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