Category: Fees

How to fly standby

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MUC copy

It’s Murphy’s Law of Travel: the one time you arrive early for a flight, you end up checked in and through security in less than ten minutes, leaving you hours to sit around the airport. You check your flight’s status on the departure board, and notice that there’s an earlier flight to your destination leaving in 45 minutes. Excitedly, you open up Expert Flyer to see if there are any seats available, and there are! You make a run for the earlier flight’s gate, walk up and ask the agent if she can get you on the earlier departure.

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Airfare rules: An airline’s fine print

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When you purchase an airline ticket, the transaction creates a contract between you and the airline.  The airline agrees to transport you, and you agree to pay for that transportation, and also agree to things like security checks and baggage limits.  Part of this contract between a passenger and an airline is the specific rules set forth in the fare purchased.  Inexpensive (or “discount”) fares typically have lots of rules.  They’re usually not refundable, have hefty fees for making changes to the ticket, and may earn limited or no frequent flyer miles.  Expensive (or “full”) fares don’t have these restrictions.  You’re paying extra money for the flexibility that comes with these more expensive tickets. (more…)

Are fuel surcharge fees devaluing your miles?

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Are fuel surcharge fees devaluing your miles? - Featured Image

A few months ago, a client hired me to find award tickets for his honeymoon.  He had a significant Starwood balance, so I suggested transferring Starpoints to Miles & More, the frequent flyer program for Lufthansa, Swiss and a few smaller Star Alliance airlines.  The Miles & More program routinely opens up more award space for its own members than for non-Miles & More partners such as United.  But I had to warn him about the downside of this strategy: Fuel surcharge fees. (more…)

All about airline fees and premium economy

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All about airline fees and premium economy - Featured Image

Are you bewildered by airline fees?  Airlines have added so many fees in recent years that it’s hard even for travel professionals to keep track of them all.  From ticket change fees, to checked baggage fees, to paying for seats that used to be free, airlines have been on a quest to monetize anything and everything they can. (more…)