How to Avoid Extra Fees at the Airport

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How to Avoid Extra Fees at Airports- skip out on all the extra fees that come with air travel with these smart tips for avoiding them to begin with!

Airports have been charging extra fees for a couple of years now on everything from baggage to snacks. What used to be free with every ticket now costs something. It seems they are really nickle and dimming every passenger on the plane these days. While prices of tickets are starting to go down, you may wonder how you will ever avoid all these extra fees when you get to the airport. Here are some tips for avoiding extra fees to put your mind at ease and fly frugally!

How to Avoid Extra Fees at the Airport

Choose your airline carefully to avoid baggage fees– Many airlines, especially discount ones, offer free baggage check. There is no reason to pay exorbitant baggage fees if you can avoid it and the ticket prices are less or the same. Before booking a flight, look at the baggage policies. This is especially important when booking on sites like Orbitz or Travelocity which have all the options available and will present you with the cheapest first. It may not be cheaper after all the baggage fees.

Fly first class or join a frequent flyer program– I often skip paying baggage fees by flying first class. Sometimes, if you book enough ahead of time, the price difference is not that much between coach and first class so it makes more sense. Also, with most airlines, first class passengers get to check more bags for free and they have a higher weight limit, too. For instance, Delta allows you to check 2 bags for free and you get 70 lbs (instead of 50 lbs) per bag.

Weigh your luggage to avoid extra fees with baggage– If you forget to buy or bring a scale (which I did on a recent trip), here’s my tip; go to the nearest post office. They will be happy to weigh your bags for you. I know the one I went to was no trouble. Knowing what your baggage weighs will help you know if you will stay under the limit as many airlines are charging huge fees for going over such as $100!

Try shipping your baggage if you will be staying a while– A long trip can give you the added bonus of being able to ship your stuff for less. If you will be staying with relatives or friends, have your items shipped to their address a week or so before your arrival. Make sure you get insurance on it.Often, the shipping cost is less than the baggage fees.

Don’t pay the fill-up rate if you are renting a car– Car rental places really like to rip people off with all their little fees. Don’t get suckered into paying for their fill-up fee. Opt out, as it is usually far more per gallon than if you fill up the tank yourself. When you are leaving the rental place, keep a mental note of where the nearest gas station is so you can fill up the tank on return.

Bring your own snacks– Airports are known for charging $5 for a water because they know you cant bring your bottle if it’s open through security. Beat this by bringing your own empty water bottle and filling after passing through. Also, bring your own snacks so you don’t end up paying $3 for 2 oz of crackers in the gift shops or $5 for them on the plane.

Make your purse your laptop bag as well– Most airlines allow you to bring one “personal item” on board with your carry on bag. This is usually a laptop OR a purse, however, if you have a purse big enough to hold your laptop, you can bring both.

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