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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Airlines Fees.
Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:09 PM on 12.15.10
->> USA TODAY has an undated list of the various extra fees the airlines charge passengers. This is a nice reference for planning expenses for a flight:
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-09-26-airline-fees-breakdown_N....


Also note that the government announced that the airlines raked in $4.3 billion in fees from passengers in just the first 9 months of 2010:
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-12-14-airline-fees_N.htm
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Steve Boyle, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | USA | Posted: 12:15 PM on 12.15.10
->> For me this is a list of airlines to avoid.

http://www.southwest.com
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Jim Urquhart, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 1:02 PM on 12.15.10
->> Thanks Robert,
I am about to fly to Ushuaia, Argentina (most southern city in the world) and this is very beneficial. Of course my cameras/lenses and laptop will be traveling with me but I have to check at least two bags with clothes and camping gear for 18 days in Patagonia.
I thought about shipping the gear but savings to this destination are very marginal at best.
Cheers,
Jimmy
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Steve Violette, Photographer
Gulf Breeze | FL | USA | Posted: 1:30 PM on 12.15.10
->> Robert,
It is interesting and IMO that the report on the $4.3B is stated in the way it is - for sensationalism. This is a fee and only part of the story, it is not a profit number, but merely a part of the revenue. It does not speak to the cost of transporting the bags which was actually a "hidden cost" in the price of a ticket in precious years. Now that it is broken out, and appears as a revenue it becomes a story, but also a story because of the way this portion of revenue is taxed

For the airline industry, much like ours, if you cannot find a way to make a profit you will go out of business

Guess it is like breaking out a per diem fee for food we receive. If the number was published for the total amount paid as a per diem fee for something like food - for any service industry - it would become a story

Just my $.02

Steve
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 2:41 PM on 12.15.10
->> When it's all put together like that all those nickel & dime fees seem even more disgusting.

I've only been flying since 1963.

(And I like flying Southwest)
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 3:08 PM on 12.15.10
->> Before looking at the $4.3 bil in airline ancillary revenue fees ... and I broke then down at the end of September here - http://bit.ly/bSKiK6 ... you need to look at the whole industry and what they are doing to survive.

Quite a few airlines were bankrupt, on the brink of being bankrupt and leveraging everything they had to survive when when "unbundling" began (and with the legacy carriers, it really began with Air Canada) ... now they are still operating primarily on thin margins.

So, before screaming that airlines suck (and some do, and some have pushed ancillary fees to levels that I think are just tacky) take a look at a carriers Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM) and Cost Per Available Seat Mile (CASM).

But hey...many of us here come from journalism ... why would we want to break it down, look at a total picture and determine the facts.


Oh ... and Southwest Airlines offers the least ancillary fee options to passengers with two bags fly free, no fee flight changes, three basic fares to choose from (rather than more than a dozen possible fare classes) and customer service that tops the industry nearly every year. Oh ... and they've been profitable for what...30 years now?
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Joshua Brown, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 3:11 PM on 12.15.10
->> Won't cover it all, but Amex Platinum cards now give you $200 per year to go towards airline fees (on any airline)

http://www.americanexpress.com/BusinessPlatinumAirlineChoice
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 3:14 PM on 12.15.10
->> Josh,

Interesting ... while many Amex cards will give you lounge access the Delta Amex does not grant lounge access ...
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 3:46 PM on 12.15.10
->> Southwest is the only airline to let a photographer on assignment pre-board
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 3:49 PM on 12.15.10
->> David,

Here is the hard text for photogs

Southwest's Policies Regarding Credentialed News Media Traveling With Cameras -
http://bit.ly/76Tla
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Walt Middleton, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 4:41 PM on 12.15.10
->> I always try to fly Southwest. They have always given me the best service and the best price. The preboarding thing is so nice on long trips especially when you need to change planes... In the last week and a half I've needed to go to NYC and LA from Columbus, OH... both times I had to change planes on the way there and from NYC on the back... On each flight I got the front left seat... and no hassles with my camera gear as a carry on...

As for an airline I will not fly again... US Air...
I've never been harrassed more with my gear bag that is below the max size and weight for carryon. I actually had the door person bump me to the end of the line about a year ago, because I refused to check my camera bag that was below the size and weight limit... I was fist in line... Two security people and her supervisor later (no appologies from them) I got onboard with my camera bag... Won't ever happen again... Since I won't ever fly them again.
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Andrew Fielding, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 5:29 PM on 12.15.10
->> I must say that Delta gets banged on for fees but if you fly with them enough and get to Gold Medallion you basically only pay to change your flight if you don't have higher fare class. I never pay to check my bags, in fact the only fees I've paid Delta this year (over 50k miles this year), are for GoGo Inflight internet (to GoGo) and for SkyClub access (25 bucks with one of my Delta cards) which is where I'm sitting right now.

The airlines that really ding you with fees are ones like JetBlue (charges for bags and better seats) and United where you pay for just about everything. To avoid fees I stick to two airlines, Southwest and Delta, but if I was not an elite on any airline I'd definitely fly Southwest much more as they allow for early boarding for media and always have friendly crew.

-Andrew
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 5:44 PM on 12.15.10
->> If you have a Delta Skymiles account and some American Express membership points you can transfer points for miles today and get a 50% bonus. I just traded 60,000 Amex points for 90,000 Delta miles. If you transfer at least 50,000 miles you automatically qualify for Delta Medallion status.

Sign up at www.delta.com/gofurther and then transfer points from your Amex account.

Deadline is midnight tonight.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 5:48 PM on 12.15.10
->> Southwest. 'Nuff said!!!
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 5:49 PM on 12.15.10
->> Andrew,

Get Star Gold on any Star Alliance airline (only 35k miles with Air Canda's Aeroplan, but can be earned with any Star Alliance carrier) and pay no bag fees with ANY Star Alliance carrier.

Delta charges bag fees for SkyTeam elites who aren't Delta elite.
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 6:53 PM on 12.15.10
->> Flew on AA to go to Eddie Adams, as one normally on Southwest, I certainly missed the better seats and better space under the seats and in the overhead of the 737s vs. the MD-80s that AA has.

Only traveled with carryons, knowing of the fees.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:18 PM on 12.15.10
->> I'm a Delta Silver who could go for Gold but I'm playing the rollover game. With Status or the right AE card, you don't pay any fees.

But Steve's comment about WHY the fees is an important point. For years, airlines struggled because the consumer only cared for one thing - the lowest possible price.

So, you got the lowest price plane ticket but you damn near bankrupted an entire industry. The industry decided if they couldn't get a measly $10 more a ticket (which is what it would have taken to put all of them in the black), then you get charged for things that were once free.

I may get charged extra when I fly another airline, but I won't fault the airlines. The lowest possible price usually turns out to be a bad deal; this is just one more example.
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Mark J. Terrill, Photographer
Simi Valley | CA | USA | Posted: 1:07 AM on 12.16.10
->> I like Southwest too. I like their pre-boarding as well, but I would implore everyone not to abuse it. I almost never use it unless I'm in the last line or running late. If you're in an A or B line, there's no need to pre-board and to repeat something that Darren Carroll said a while back "Anyone who takes an emergency exit seat when pre-boarding should burn in hell." (-:
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 3:26 AM on 12.16.10
->> I'm going to start taking the bus. Greyhound is rolling out brand new buses w/ Wifi, extra leg room and external laptop AC power. Show up, pay your $$ and go. Imagine; unlimited cell phone and laptop use. Crazy convenient for short-ish trips.
http://tinyurl.com/dczwus
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Angus Mordant, Student/Intern
Sydney | NSW Australia | Australia | Posted: 7:32 AM on 12.16.10
->> Phil,
While you sit next to some hippy student who hasn't showered for several months?
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
| | | Posted: 8:18 AM on 12.16.10
->> Angus,

"While you sit next to some hippy student who hasn't showered for several months?"

Yea ... I had that kid next to me on my flight back from Tokyo last year ... I kid you not. He had spent three months trekking through the back roads of Japan. His clothing smelled, his finger nails were filthy and it was fairly unpleasant.

I assume (and I know we shouldn't assume) he was a Trust-Funder because he was in business class and his boarding pass showed a "C" fare, which indicates he wasn't an upgrade, bump up or anything other than a paid business class fare (there were other signs of my assumption as well, but I won't get into that).
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Angus Mordant, Student/Intern
Sydney | NSW Australia | Australia | Posted: 10:06 AM on 12.16.10
->> I dare say he was the kind that thought he was off to discover to far reach towns in his Journey of the foreign lands!

Angus,
Sitting in the BA Lounge at Heathrow for 5 more hours as my flight to Rome was canceled....
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 11:16 AM on 12.16.10
->> I used to call it "SouthWorst".

No more. Southwest Air is the best air carrier out there in my (limited experience and humble) opinion.

It's not just the no-fee two checked bags, it's their employees' attitude. They are not like most of the domestic airlines' workers --- always seemingly pissed off/ don't give a crap about the customer/ I'd rather be somewhere else attitude --- they are always friendly and courteous.

And if you get the right flight crew members...they might even sing some songs on departure and arrival!

And I agree...pay the extra few bucks for the early boarding. It's worth if if you have a large carry-on with gear.

Mahalo!
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 11:35 AM on 12.16.10
->> mark is right about not abusing the pre-board card. unless I'm in the second tier of the "B" group I never pull the pre-board thing. I actually like sitting in the back of the plane and that's another advantage for me....I have found most early boarders want to sit near the front...the back is usually empty until the end....
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John Blankfort, Photographer
Monterey | CA | USA | Posted: 12:00 PM on 12.16.10
->> What Mark and Chuck said about Southwest is so true…

You can almost always get an A boarding pass by checking in on-line exactly 24 hours before your flight. Calender it, use your smartphone when the buzzer rings and you’re set.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 3:10 PM on 03.02.11
->> This chart came in handy again while figuring the true cost of a flight I have to take.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-09-26-airline-fees-breakdown_N....
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 6:19 PM on 03.02.11
->> Good news on Southwest, they are supposedly almost doubling the number of destinations the end of this year/next year, mostly up and down the eastern seaboard.

A friend who works for them says that in all honesty, the free bags dented their profits pretty high because so many have switched to using them, they are severely understaffed in baggage handling as a result!
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John H. Reid III, Photographer
Gates Mills | OH | USA | Posted: 6:22 PM on 03.02.11
->> Spirit Airlines charges a fee ($30!) for a carry on. Yes, a carry on. You can bring a "personal item" that is basically the size of a small back pack for free.
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Thread Title: Airlines Fees.
Thread Started By: Robert Hanashiro
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