3 Tips for to Avoiding Extra Airline Fees

When it comes to getting across the country or even around the world there’s really no better way than to do so than to fly. At the same time many Americans have become frustrated with airlines, making them some of the most despised companies in the country due to their lack of customer service and seemingly endless nickel and diming. That’s why it’s always exciting when you can not only save money but get around some of the annoying fees that airlines try to collect.

As Kristin Wong of Two Cents recently pointed out there are a few ways that you can escape or reduce some of these extra fees. Here are a few such suggestions:

Pack light

Unless you’re traveling internationally, have status on an airline, or hold one of their special credit cards, you’ll likely have to pay a fee in order to check your bag. Furthermore, for many airlines the prices for each subsequent piece of luggage you check go even higher. On top of that those bags must meet a certain weight restriction, lest you pay overage fees that can add up quickly.

Instead it’s often worth doing whatever you can to fit what you need into a carry-on sized bag. For help with this you may want to try to rolling your clothes instead of folding them flat — when done properly this can help save space. Additionally, since many airlines allow you to bring on a carry on as well as a “personal item,” such as a laptop bag or backpack, be sure to take advantage of that by sticking extra items you may need in your “personal item” bag. Just keep in mind that your smaller bag will likely have to go under the seat in front of you so you may be compromising your legroom. Lastly always be sure to check the rules of the carrier you are flying as some (namely Spirit) will still charge you for carry-ons and all airlines have size restrictions for carry-on luggage.

Skip paying for early check-in or seat upgrades

While carrying on luggage can be great there is always the concern that there won’t be enough overhead bin space. That’s why carriers like Southwest offer early bird check-in that will put you near the front of the boarding line. However the truth is that, should overhead space run out before you board, most airlines will check your bag for you free of charge.

As for seat upgrades that place you closer to the front of the plane you may want to forgo the charges and just be on time to check in. Depending on the airline you may be able to nab better seats that are released 24 hours before departure. If that’s not the case you can always try asking the gate agent if they could possibly move you — it doesn’t always work but it’s worth a shot (especially if you’re nice about it).

Purchase Wi-Fi while on the ground

Today in-flight Wi-Fi isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. Unfortunately it can also be quite pricey. That’s why it’s worth looking at your options beforehand as it can often save you quite a bit. For example Gogo, which is used by Delta, American, and others, offers all day Wi-Fi passes that you can purchase before your flight for $16. You’ll find that this price is much cheaper than the packages offered once you’re airborne and redirected to their in-flight page. So, if you’re going to work on your flight, plan ahead.


As convenient as flying is it can also be a hassle. That’s especially true if you’re one of the many flyers that are constantly getting hit up with extra fees. Hopefully by following these tips you can help avoid some of these nuisance charges and have more money in your pocket when you reach your destination.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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