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Travel Tip: Airfares May Be Low, But Don’t Forget About Ancillary Fees

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Image Credit: Stephanie Ervin

Many airlines will argue that—when adjusted for inflation—the airfares you’re paying today for domestic flights are a lot lower than they were 40 years ago, before the deregulation of the airlines.

The airlines’ argument is that airfares are falling and have never been cheaper.

On paper, that might look correct.

But what the airlines are neglecting to mention are those ancillary fees.

You know—ticket change fees, checked baggage fees, etc. That’s the problem.

Last year, the airlines pulled in $7.1 billion in extra fees.

Now it’s time to do the math.

According to a study released last month by the independent U.S. Government Accountability Office, on average, if you checked in just one piece of baggage, you paid more for your total fare than you did when your bags were included in the basic fare price.

What’s the bottom line here? You can no longer compare base fare prices with what was charged in the 1970s.

When you total all the added fees, you’re paying much more.

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