Federal taxes, security taxes, baggage fees, airport landing fees — all of these are part of the costs of flying, but they’re rarely disclosed on your ticket price. But they add up. So what exactly are all these fees and taxes, and more importantly, how much are they going to cost you? For starters, there’s a 7.5% excise tax for all domestic tickets. There’s a 9/11 security fee of $2.50 per departure. Then there are ‘passenger facilities charges’, leveled by airports that can be up to $4.50 every time you land. On a cheap Southwest fare, for example, fees and taxes might equal one-third of the actual ticket cost. And that’s just domestic flights.
For international flights, some of those taxes are equal to more than half the cost of the ticket. And here’s the catch: they’re not always advertised in the original cost of the advertised fare. You’ve gotta watch out for them, and if you’re not sure if they’re already included in a particular price, it’s definitely worth asking.