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Travel Tip: Why Airline Fees Are Rising This Summer

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No big news here…airlines fees keep going up. And every time one airline raises a fee, others follow.

United Airlines started the latest trend by raising the change fee for nonrefundable domestic tickets. It used to be $150, and now it’s $200. Planning to fly to South America? Better be sure because changing it will cost you $300. US Airways followed suit by upping its change fee on domestic flights by $50. The good news is the cost to change international flights is still the same.

Other airlines are raising checked-bag fees, and Frontier Airlines will now charge $25 to $100 for the overhead bin if you book a ticket anywhere other than their website.

A study from TravelNerd found that U.S. airlines have changed 52 different fees since the beginning of 2012. The only good news…most of those increases are nominal, about $5 to $10.

But it’s a profit center for the airlines: while they have to pay state and federal taxes on airfare, those ancillary fees only get hit by a much more moderate sales tax. And so the airlines win and you…lose.

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