There are so many fees and change that get added or cut to an airline ticket, it could make your head spin. Sometimes they’re a huge deal, like when airlines started adding fuel surcharges because gas prices were so high. Other time they’re small fees or surcharges that they think people won’t notice. But all those small fees start to add up!
Here are some fees that have quietly been added to (or subtracted from) your air fare, as well as some other airline changes (some good, some not so much), in the first six months of 2022:
Delta Air Lines, Early 2022
Delta quietly lowered this carry on fee sometime in early (sometime between January and March) 2022. There was no big fanfare for it; it was a relatively small change, but it still changed them from being one of the 3 airlines that charged the most for this fee to being one of the 2 that charge the second least.
Southwest Airlines, Early 2022
Southwest has always been an outlier when it came to allowing their flights to be seen on online travel sites. In other words, they didn’t ;-).
Happily though, since early this year, they’ve opened the door little bit, for some flights, on KAYAK.
Frontier Airlines, March 2022
Most domestic U.S. airlines allow carry on bags to be 50 pounds or less. Frontier Airlines used to. And then in January 2022, they added this little gem to their website:
Checked bags must be no larger than 62 linear inches (that’s length + width + depth) and no heavier than 50 pounds ( this will be limited to 40 pounds beginning March 1, 2022). After March 1, baggage that is 41-50 pounds will be charged extra.
A 20% weight decrease. Nice.
They do mention that if you purchase one of their Bundles, the WORKS or the PERKS, a carry-on and checked bag is included ( don’t get excited – the checked bag still has to be 40 pounds or less). We pimped our flight on Frontier and upgraded to the WORKS package a while back; here’s what it was like.
American Airlines, March 2022
Different U.S.-based airlines have different rules on when their miles expire. Some expire after a few months of non-use, some simply never expire, and others are somewhere in between the two.
This is how we keep track of when our miles expire, but it’s still easier when an airline gives you a decent amount of time until they actually expire.
Of the 3 legacy airlines, your Delta and United miles could sit in their respective accounts for forever and a day, no problem. American’s was the only ones that expired, although they did “pause” that expiration date during COVID.
The good news? When the clock started ticking again this past March, they extended it. So instead of expiring in 18 months, they now don’t expire for a full 24 months/2 years. Oh, and the miles of primary cardmembers of a co-branded AA credit card from Barclays or Citi won’t expire, either (if you close the card, there’s a grace period). Same thin goes if you’re under 21 (but as of your 21st birthday, the 24 month clock starts ticking).
AirAsia, March 2022
Like most low-cost airlines AirAsia “nickels and dimes” its passengers for everything. Case in point, if you were booked on an AirAsia flight and wanted to check in at the counter, that would cost an extra RM20 (about $4.54) for domestic flights or RM30 (about $6.82) for international ones (note: before Sept. 2020, that fee didn’t exist).
Back in February, Lowyat.net reported an upate to AirAsia’s website that effective March 1, 2022, the RM20 or RM30 was going to increase to a flat RM100 per person for counter check-ins. That would be about $22.72 per person. YOWSA!
Fortunately, a few days later, cooler heads prevailed…sort of. The RM100 fee was gone, but effective April 1, 2022, checking in at the counter was no longer available, period, except for specifically exempt people.
Qatar Airways, April 2022
Thought you’d be saving money by booking award space on Qatar Airways? Not so fast, travel friend. Suitesmile reported in April that the airline quietly added on $70 “booking fees” per segment for award flights booked in Privilege Club.
British Airways, June 2022
Like many airlines, BA had a COVID-related cancellation policy over the past 2 years or so. It was called “Book With Confidence”. Flights could be cancelled up to an hour before departure and customers could get an eVoucher for payment or partial payment that could be use for travel completed by September 30, 2023. The airline would also waive its change fee for such cancellations/rebookings.
Not anymore! Your Money reported a couple of weeks ago that as of June 8, 2022, any new bookings on British Airways are now be subject to the airline’s usual cancellation and refund policies. So bookings are one again subject to administration fees.
Granted, this one isn’t a “new” fee. Not is it really unexpected. But an announcement would’ve been nice.
“Book with Confidence” my eye…
Let’s see what gems happen in the second have of 2022…
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
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