Fees and opportunities coming for spring/summer travel


With the rise in the cost of jet fuel, airlines are struggling to get you to buy a ticket without them losing money on the sale. That means both hazard and opportunity as you plan your summer travel. I’ll tell you what you need to know before you fly.

With American Airlines in bankruptcy, they are losing money hand over fist. American has already lost $1.75 billion in just a few months since filing bankruptcy. Last month alone, they faced $619 million in losses. That’s $20 million a day!

At this point, American has lost the confidence of travelers booking trips, which means you will see deals over the next several weeks. I’ve already started to see that pattern. If you’re looking for travel this spring or summer, I’m expecting they’ll be the ones to bring prices down and put pressure on everybody else to do the same.

American has never been a discounter, but if you have empty seats and are facing daily losses of $20 million, you do what you have to. So my advice is to register at AA.com for notification of special sale fares and be on the lookout for deals.

Meanwhile, Delta is testing a new discount ticket called ‘Basic Economy’ in a handful of markets. It’s more bare bones than coach. We’re talking non-refundable, no changes, no cancellations, no seat assignments.

You buy it, you own it, just like a ticket to a sporting event. But unlike a sports event where you can resell the ticket, you can’t do that with airfare. So you don’t go, tough on you. The Basic Economy ticket will be about $20 cheaper roundtrip vs. regular Delta airfare.

Finally, Allegiant Air, a fast growing discounter, will now charge you $35 for carryon bags, much like Spirit Airlines.

Did you know that enterprising entrepreneurs already are marketing a $59 carryon that meets Spirit’s space requirements for under the seat so you avoid the carryon charge? Now they just need one for Allegiant as well!

It’s funny because the European hard discounter RyanAir used to want to charge you to use the toilet, but Boeing refused to design the payment collection system for toilets in their aircraft. So at least the bathrooms on airplanes are still free at this point!

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