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With all the fees slapped on to your bill, reconsider your travel budget

September 23, 2012

Image: André Letria for NYTimes

You may think that you have budgeted your next vacation to the dime and nickel by considering all the possible and estimated, if not exact, costs – flights, hotels, places to see, museums, meals, etc. But Stephanie Rosenbloom points out in her article that your final bill may be significantly higher than your budget because of the fees that airlines, hotel and rental car industries pass it on to their consumers.

Even after the Department of Transportation regulations took effect in January this year, requiring airlines and ticket agents to “include all mandatory taxes and fees in published airfares,” there has been lawsuits against airlines and hotels for simply violating the rules.

Consumers don’t realize that the fees they are paying to the companies can be avoided and traveling cheap is definitely a possibility. For example, rental car companies charge “concession recovery fee” and consumers think this is a tax. But it’s really the rental company’s way of covering the additional cost of being in an airport and they pass part of that cost along to consumers.

So how do you avoid these fees? One of the example Stephanie gives is:

New Department of Transportation regulations enable passengers to cancel a reservation without penalty for up to 24 hours after it is made as long as the reservation is made at least a week before the flight’s departure date. And remember: sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a new ticket than to change one.

Read the article to find out how much these companies make annually from these fees and a few simple ways to avoid some of the fees – Fleeced by Fees When You Travel? [NYTimes]



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