Airline Fees Jump By 50 Percent: Is It Unfair to Customers?

Americans gearing up for the holiday travel season received a gut punch from Monday's USA Today. The newspaper reports that airline fees have jumped, some by more than 50 percent, since 2009.

According to USA Today's analysis, fees for checked bags have increased by almost $10 since a year ago, and booking a reservation over the telephone can now cost more than $30 on some airlines.

The fee increases come as travelers are already absorbing news of higher holiday ticket prices. Though more people are flying as the economy recovers, airlines haven't added flights, leading to packed planes and higher prices.

The airlines made a record $2 billion in fees alone during the second quarter of this year, according to USA Today. Fees have been levied on everything from blankets to ticket changes to walking an unaccompanied child to the gate.

One of the biggest problems consumers face with fees is that they make it harder to compare the cost of tickets among airlines.

"The flying public deserves to know before they purchase tickets exactly what the entire cost of travel will be, so they can make apples-to-apples comparisons among airlines," Kate Hanni, executive director of FlyersRights.org, told USA Today.

Our question to you today: Are increasing fees unfair to consumers?

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