Airfares down, fees up

September 7, 2009 7:10:14 PM PDT
Airfares are down 17 percent compared to last Labor Day while the travel industry tries to overcome an overall drop in travel. But airlines are also adding on fees.Right now, you can fly from Fresno to New York City for $238 round-trip. Fresno travel agent Linda Jason with Linda Your Travelmaker says it's been at least a year and a half since prices have been this low. "I can't remember really when I saw airfare from the west coast to the east coast for under $250 dollars to all the popular cities," said Jason.

But the lower airfares also come at a time when fees are rising. That's because it's hard to go anywhere without your stuff, and the airlines know it. "It's like $15, then another $25 for the second on top. So it's like $40 to take two bags on, which is really crazy," said traveler Pamela Lawson.

Only two of the major airlines no longer charge for your first bag for domestic travel, Southwest and JetBlue, which don't fly out of Fresno. Just recently, major carriers announced they'd also charge extra for your second checked bag on trans-Atlantic flights.

Most major airlines will give you a five dollar per bag discount if you pay for it online before your flight. The bad news is Jason says it's likely we'll see even more fees from the airlines in the future because people will pay.

"There's no amount of money you can pay for family," said Lawson.

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