Airlines Charging the Highest Fees

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14. Alaska (NYSE: ALK)
> Total additional fees: $331
> First checked bag: $20
> Book by phone: $15
> Unaccompanied minors: $20 (nonstop or direct) / $50 (connecting)

Alaska Airlines charges the least amount of fees among the major domestic airlines. It charges just $20 for passengers’ first and second bags, lower than many of its peers. Fees on overweight bags (up to 100 lbs) or oversized (up to 80 in.) are just $50, online with well-recognized, low-cost airlines such as Southwest and Jetblue. Despite low baggage fees, the airline is exceptionally profitable. In 2010, 24/7 Wall St. referred to Alaska Airlines as “the industry jewel.” Over the last five years, parent company Alaska Air Group, Inc.’s stock price has risen over 245%. In JD Power’s 2012 North America Airline Satisfaction Survey, Alaska ranked as the top traditional airline.

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13. Southwest (NYSE: LUV)
> Total additional fees: $360
> First checked bag: $0
> Book by phone: $0
> Unaccompanied minors: $50 (nonstop or direct only)

Southwest Airlines has earned a reputation as an airline without the ancillary charges of some of the larger carriers in the U.S. It is the only airline on this list that allows domestic passengers to check two bags for free, a fact that is touted by the company’s motto of “bags fly free.” Southwest is also the only major U.S. carrier not to charge any fees to change a flight, and is one of just three major airlines not to charge a booking fee. Despite all of this, the airline has announced that it is raising certain fees in 2013 in order to raise an additional $1.1 billion in revenue. The airline raised the fees on the third checked bag and overweight bags, among others.

12. Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT)
> Total additional fees: $383
> First checked bag: $15-$75/segment
> Book by phone: $10
> Unaccompanied minors: N/A

Allegiant Air’s additional fees are relatively low because it doesn’t offer several amenities that other airlines do, including the escorting of unaccompanied minors and pillows and blankets. However, Allegiant is one of just two airlines, along with Spirit Airlines, to charge for carry-on bags. These fees can range anywhere from $10 to $75 per flight. In addition, Allegiant is one of two airlines that considers bags over 40 lbs to be overweight, compared to the standard 50 lbs for most airlines.

11. Frontier
> Total additional fees: $431
> First checked bag: $20
> Book by phone: $0
> Unaccompanied minors: $50 – $100 (nonstop only)

Although Frontier Airlines is one of 11 airlines with total additional fees of more than $400, customers get a relatively good deal on several extras compared to most airlines. Frontier is one of just three airlines that doesn’t charge customers for booking tickets over the phone or in person. In addition, Frontier charges just $20 for the both the first and second checked bag, both lower than the majority of large U.S. airlines. Even the $50 cost for checking additional bags is significantly lower than most airlines.