|by Nina Willdorf||Cruises, Airfares & Flying, Hotels, Rental Cars||97|
The single biggest news story in 2010 has been about all of the extra fees that airlines are charging as a way to supplement flagging revenues. In the second quarter alone, the airline industry picked up $2.1 billion in extra fees and charges.
In our October Readers' Choice issue, on stands now, we reported the somewhat unsurprising news that among all the many clever new fees, your absolute least favorite charge was the dreaded baggage fee. (Fortunately, with some planning and the right bag it is possible to get by with a carry-on and avoid the checked-bag fee.)
Consumers and travel industry professionals are starting to rally together. A collective of groups submitted a petition with thousands of signatures yesterday via the web site, MadAsHellAboutHiddenFees.com, to the Department of Transportation. The goal? To force the airline industry to create greater transparency about fees during the booking process. (Look for the final ruling in Spring 2011.)
While baggage fees (and airlines in general) are getting most of our attention, I'm curious to hear about other weirdo charges you've noticed on a bill recently, whether on a cruise, at a hotel, or at the rental car checkout counter.
What are some new and bizarre—and perhaps patently unfair—fees you've been stuck with in your travels?