What’s The Deal With Airfare Fees and Taxes?

Hilarye Family Travel, Family Travel Tips Leave a Comment

Reid is back from Dublin, Ireland but still needs a little time before reporting about his trip to soothe his legs and recover from the jet lag. Until then, I thought I would talk about airfare fees. Yesterday, as I was booking airplane tickets to Denver I was a bit caught off guard by all the fees they throw in at the last minute. It’s as if the airlines are saying: “Sure we are going to give you a great deal, but we’ll stick it to you in the end!” I decided to investigate and find out what these fees really mean and why they are in place.

When you book your ticket there is the base fare. This is the price you will see advertised but next to it you will notice an asterisk mentioning not including fees and taxes. You select your fare and the next page is when you will really see what you are paying. On a lot of the airlines sites it doesn’t even spell out which fees and taxes you are paying it just adds it all up for you. If you actually knew all the ridiculous taxes and fees we pay when we buy an airline ticket- I don’t think you would be too happy. These fees are what can make a seemingly cheap airline ticket quickly become an expensive oddity.

There are many fees that airlines can apply. We have heard a lot about checked baggage fees, fees for changing flights, and overweight passenger fees. There are also taxes for International flights and many more. But here are your basic ones added to most all domestic flights regardless of the carrier:

Federal Excise Tax of 7.5% (this is basically just a sales tax imposed by the government on commercial airlines for the moving of people or property.)

Federal segment fee of $3.70 that will be imposed on each flight segment. Flight segment is defined as a takeoff and a landing (just another reason to try to get a non-stop flight).

Government-imposed September 11th Security Fee of up to $5 one-way, $10 roundtrip. This fee pays the government’s cost for providing Federal civil aviation security services. This includes training, salaries, and benefits for the Federal security screeners and law enforcement personnel, as well as the Federal Air Marshal program.

Airport assessed Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) of up to $18. This is based off your origin city- not your destination. These are fees that the airport has deemed appropriate for FAA approved airport improvement projects.

It’s all a bunch of nickel and diming right? No wonder no one can afford to travel! But now you know what to expect! These fees add up quickly and can easily put an extra $50-$60 on your bill! Remember, these don’t even include checked bag fees, fees for booking travel online, fees for switching your travel plans, taxes on international travel, fees for flying during peak holiday times, and much more! If you can think of it, most likely the airlines have put a fee on it!

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