Insta-CoGo: Fees, Fees and More Fees on Delta
You may have heard that Northwest has joined United, US Airways and Delta in assessing a fee for a second piece of checked luggage. It'll cost $25 each way for tickets issued March 29 or later for travel May 5 or later to destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean. Other foreign destinations, you still get two free checked bags.
Delta, however, has taken the whole fee craze a few steps farther. Effective today, here are new fees travelers will pay:
* Calling to book by phone? That'll cost you $25, an increase of $5. No fee if ticket is booked online.
*Calling to book a frequent flier ticket that involves a partner carrier? That'll cost you a $25 handling fee, on top of the $25 fee for booking via phone. Book online, and there's no charge.
* Taking your small pet onboard (the kind that fits under the seat in front of you), will now cost $100, a $25 increase. And remember "monkeys, pot-bellied pigs, reptiles, frogs, mice, rats, sugar gliders, and spiders are not permitted" at any price.
* Charge for an unaccompanied minor was $50 each way for nonstop flights, $100 for connecting. Now it's $100 each way for any flight.
And think twice about buying that huge piece of luggage. Any bag that is oversize (more than 62 inches total height, width and length) will be dinged for $150 (up from $100).
There's always been a strong school of thought that those who use the service should pay the fee. The airlines believe that increasing fares across-the-board is unpopular, and they have shifted attention to increasing profits by charging user fees. But where do you draw the line and what comes next?
I don't go to the library very often, but I don't mind paying taxes to support it. And I don't have unaccompanied kids traveling to see their dad, but I don't mind paying a few extra cents on my ticket so that some single mom isn't socked with a $200 fee on top of the airfare. The airlines need to stay economically viable: Most are not making huge profits. And fares stay lower when there is competition.
So are fees the best way to go? Should we all instead pay a little bit more per ticket?
By Carol Sottili |
April 1, 2008; 12:23 PM ET
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