Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reducing Rates by Adding Fees

In an effort to become an “ultra low cost carrier,” Frontier Airlines is ramping up its fees.  Beginning July 1, a cup of coffee, tea or juice as well as a can of soda could cost passengers $1.99.  This will only apply to travelers who book inexpensive airfares and/or are not high-ranking members of Frontier’s mileage program.

Another fee is on its way, though the effective date has not yet been announced.  Customers who book their tickets through third party sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity may soon pay extra for their carry-on bags ($25-$100 extra!).

The actual amount for your carry-on bag will depend.  If you check into your flight at home before you get to the airport, you’ll pay $25.  If you check in with a ticket agent or at a kiosk after arriving at the airport, the cost for you to carry your own bag onto the plane will climb. 

Of course, you can’t avoid the fee by checking your luggage, because you’ll be charged the checked baggage fee.  This could run you $20-$25 depending on how you bought your ticket and where/when you checked into your flight.

Airfarewatchdog.com founder, George Hobica thinks other airlines will soon follow suit, “Airlines hate paying booking fees to third-party sites… and this is an effective way to force consumers to book directly with the airline."

The moral of the story: airlines want you to book directly through them.  Check the prices on third party sites in addition to the price direct from the airline.  You’ll probably find a better price on the third party site, but be prepared for a extraneous fees!

On a side note, if you’re collecting Frontier miles, be advised that beginning July 1 you might only be earning 25-50% of the miles you fly when booking through third party sites.
Read about the new rules and fees directly from Frontier in their press release: http://news.flyfrontier.com/press-release/general-news/frontier-enhances-services-customers-using-flyfrontiercom

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