Air travel costs come in two parts: the face value of the ticket, and the many fees that airlines attach after the fact. Sometimes these fees can cost more than the fare itself. This isn’t a mistake: Airlines are vying for the lowest price in travel searches, hoping to make up the cost in hidden fees.
When searching for airfare, it helps to know which airlines tack on more fees. For example, is a $100 fare on a budget airline like Frontier Airlines ultimately cheaper than a $159 fare from Delta? Or will Frontier’s add-on fees for seat assignments and carry-on bags shrink the difference?
Determining which airlines have the best and worst fees is no small feat, and it can get complex in a hurry. To help make sense of these fees and minimize the complexity, we performed an analysis of seven major airlines across two fee categories: baggage fees and seat assignment fees.
We aimed to…