Hold On To Your Wallet

Airlines impose holiday surcharge for winter flights

1016_blogIf you’re unlucky enough to be besieged by Nor’easter cold and frigid rain you’re probably thinking about a winter getaway. Well, brace yourself. While fares are currently low–with domestic holiday airfares as much as 15% lower than last year, according to FareCompare.com — carriers are making up for it elsewhere, namely with a $10 “holiday surcharge” adding to the mounting list of flight fees.

I came across the news while perusing CNNMoney.com: Looks like American Airlines is the ringleader in adding the extra charge, having introduced a “Peak Travel Surcharge” of $10 each way, last month. The fee was assessed on flights departing Nov. 29 and 30, the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving and for flights departing on Jan. 2 and 3, some of the busiest travel days of the year.

This month, American also announced that it will begin adding the surcharge to the following holiday-related days:

Dec. 19, 26, 27;   March 14, 20, 21, 28, 2010; April 11, 2010; and May 28, 2010.

Five carriers have followed suit this month adding the holiday travel fee, according to CNNMoney. They include US. Airways, Continental Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.

But it’s not as bad as it sounds. Typically, airlines have raised their fares during the holiday season and while this $10 may not but a dent in your wallet, combined with other staggering charges – checked baggage, curbside check-in, pet travel, ticket re-scheduling and oversized bags, as well as food, soda and juice, holiday jetsetters are bound to feel the pinch.

For a list of fees, check out Kayak.com’s airfare fee chart.

Sound off: What do you think about the extra charge? Have you made your holiday travel arrangements yet? Where did you find the best deal?

Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at BlackEnterprise.com

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