Additional airline fees driving passengers crazy


Does it feel like each day you hear a news story about another airline fee? Well it sure seems like it to me. Your airline ticket allows you to be hauled like cattle to your destination. Of course you only get hauled if you pay the ever-rising fuel surcharge. (Remember the days when the cost of your ticket actually included the fuel to get you there?)

Want to talk to a person to book your flight? Fee. Want to bring a couple of pieces of luggage on your trip? Fee. Want to eat or drink something? Fee. Want to be able to use a certain airport? Fee. Want to fly at a certain time of the day? Fee. Want to change your flight time? Fee. Want to blow your nose on the flight? Well, no fee for that just yet. (Oops. Didn't mean to give the airlines another idea!)

The latest fee is being implemented by U.S. Airways. Do you want a "better" seat? You will have to pay an extra $5. The fee is going to be charged starting May 7, and it will be for aisle or window seats in the first several rows in coach. So you're still crammed in a coach seat, but you're paying extra for being crammed at the front of the plane instead of the back.

I'm sorry, the additional fees for everything under the sun are driving me crazy. Soon the airlines will be charging an extra fee simply for the privilege of being able to buy an airline ticket from them. Imagine that... paying a fee so that you can have the opportunity to pay more fees. Marvelous!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.