Flight ticket: just the beginning of the flight price


It used to be that buying a plane ticket is a pretty simple task. You will choose your flight and time and will pay to fly from point A to point B. Today, buying a ticket is a more complicated process. Flyers face a variety of choices, each with its own price tag.

So many fees can be added to the price of a plane ticket that the base price is usually just the starting point. According to Max Levitte, co-founder of, "Consumers don't know what to expect unless they read all the fine prints that are around nowadays." While your cable company offers you bundled services, airlines do the exact opposite by offering you an ala carte selection of services that have been included in the regular fare. Carriers claim that the additional airfare fees are simply their idea of ​​giving the flyers more choice. United Airlines CEO Jeff Smiek compared the process to ordering a pizza, saying, "We used your pizza with all the toppings and that's all you got. The split allows passengers to pay just what they want."

But what if the current base price of a plane ticket is as high as the traditional "all-seater" fare? Because of the high cost of fuel, airlines need additional revenue to stay airborne, according to an industry spokesman. The blades, which were previously included in the price of a plane ticket but now carry an extra charge, include baggage check (the heavier the bag, the higher the cost), cancellation and food and drinks. Some other fees added to the price of the airline ticket are for new services such as wireless Internet access and accommodations with extra legroom. There is even talk of a new program where a passenger can buy a higher-priced plane ticket that entitles him or her to 1.5 seats. If I was cynical, I would probably assume that the size of the seats on the planes has been decreasing over the last few years, so that people will be lured into buying a second seat. (Some do.) Selling a double seat means less passenger weight and luggage on the plane, which results in lower fuel consumption while ticket revenue remains the same. Of course, I may be bigger now than I was before, and the seats just look smaller …

In July 2013, a Consumer Reports survey called America & # 39; s Spirit Airlines the hottest carrier. About 39% of Spirit's 2012 revenue comes from sources other than airfare. George Hobika, founder and editor of Airfarewatchdog, which tracks airlines' deals, said: "Spirit is the only hassle-free airline left with fares that can be up to 90 percent less than other carriers." The problem is that in addition to the price of a plane ticket, it also charges a wide range of fees: $ 10 to $ 19 just for booking a flight, $ 3 for juice, a soft drink or candy, and $ 35 to $ 100 for a carrying bag, Ironically, Spirit Airlines thrives, while other major carriers do not. It should be very popular with those travelers who travel without luggage. Clearly, while no one likes the added fees, the fees must be weighed against the offers of all the airlines involved, such as Southwestern and Virginia American, in order to determine the best airfare deal.