June 15, 2011 -- Travelers should be warned: It's now possible to pay more in fees than for an actual fight.
A flight from New York to London is listed at $630.60 on Delta, but the total price could be anywhere from $804.20 to $1,529.20, depending on the amount, size and weight of the luggage. A similar flight on American Airlines, listed at $702, could wind up costing travelers between $907.50 and $1,382.50.
These numbers don't even include other hidden fees that might not show up in the advertised price. For instance, using frequent flier miles doesn't mean a free trip. Delta charges $75 if travelers using their miles don't book a flight at least 22 days in advance. American charges $100 for flights booked six days -- or fewer -- in advance.
These fees allow airlines to cash in. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. airlines made $5.7 billion in baggage and reservation change fees alone in 2010.
Delta raked in $952 million in baggage fees, double what it made the year before. The airline made twice as much as its closest competitor, American Airlines, which made $580 in baggage fees last year, according to the latest statistics.
These fees aren't going anywhere anytime soon, but at least they will be easier to spot. The Department of Transportation is issuing new rules requiring airlines to prominently disclose all potential fees on their websites before customers pay for their tickets.
This kicks in Aug. 23. Until then, be on the lookout for those fees.