More bang for your buck: Airline fees worth the price - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

More bang for your buck: Airline fees worth the price

(Source: KFVS 12) (Source: KFVS 12)
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More people than ever will fly home for Thanksgiving, and airlines are charging more for so-called perks than ever before.

While avoiding those extra fees may be your first choice, experts say some are worth it. Here are some airline fees worth paying to get more bang for your buck.

Premium economy seats: Also called “economy comfort” or “premium economy,” they typically cost between $10-$50 extra, and include things like more legroom and even power outlets to charge your phone or laptop. Money experts say don’t pay for this upgrade for short flights, and make sure you know what you’re getting up front. You may not want to spend more than $10 for just three-inches of extra legroom.

One-day airline lounge passes: Travel analysts say they're worth it if you have a long layover, or multiple layovers. They usually cost about $50 per person, and parents can bring small children in for free. These lounge areas have perks like free snacks and drinks, free Wi-Fi, and a quieter area with nicer seats to await your flight. Often these passes allow you into airline lounges at different airports if you use them on the same day. Something to remember: if you have an airline credit card, you may get this perk for free. If you don’t already have an airline credit card, be aware of the annual fees and other charges they can carry.

Choosing your seat assignment: It used to be that you could guarantee your window or aisle seat if you booked your flight early. Now some airlines are charging between $1 and $50 to pick your seat. Again, this is worth it on longer flights, and is especially good for families with young children who might want easy access to the front or back of the plane near the bathrooms.

Free Wi-Fi: One of the biggest fees analysts see people paying for is in-flight Wi-Fi. Rates can run from $8 a day per device on Southwest, to $16 for an all-day pass on Delta or American. It not only gives more entertainment options to passengers, it can also allow you to get some work done during your flight. Experts say paying for Wi-Fi is often worth it for long flights, especially on airlines that have limited entertainment options. But a way to save would be download video like shows and movies, music or books to get you through until you land at your destination.

While there are fees that might be worth paying, and other's you'd be better to avoid.

Paying for carry-on luggage: Some airlines still allow you to carry on a bag for free, but airlines are starting to charge for the service. Some even charge extra at the gate! Make sure you understand your airline’s baggage policies before you book your ticket so that you don’t end up paying an arm and a leg for baggage services you assumed were free.

Early boarding: While paying for early boarding on airlines with an open boarding policy makes sense, there's no need to shell out more money when there's assigned seating.

Snacks and drinks: Some few lower-budget airlines have begun charging for items that were once complimentary, like soda and juice. And non-budget carriers have menus offering everything from breakfast scrambles, sandwiches, snack boxes and candy. But since you're not going to be able to get up and go to another plane to get less expensive fare, prices are steep. Instead pack your own, so you don't fall prey to the snack cart.

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