Are Extra Fees Worth Paying?

Are extra fees charged by airlines worth it? On a recent flight to Las Vegas, I was seated in the United “economy plus” section, although I had not paid the extra $14 each way to purchase the upgrade. Yes, the economy plus section is roomier than regular economy seats (by five inches), but would it have been worth the extra cost? Not in my opinion. I am, however, a wee 5’6”.

Food for purchase, on the other hand, may just be worth it if I am not organized enough to bring food from home. On our recent San Francisco/Kauai flight, we were given the option of food for purchase, and the choices were better than any free meal the airline used to provide. Good sandwiches, salads and snack boxes, for $5-9. Yes, we used to get food for free when we flew within North America, but I’d rather pay a normal lunch price for food that tastes significantly better than get a free nasty meal.

RyanAir CEO Michael O’Leary, whose airline charges extra to check in at the airport ($56) and check in online ($7), to name but a few extra fees, does not really believe in offering customer service. “RyanAir promises four things: low fares, a good on-time record, few cancellations and few lost bags.” Read more about how Mr. O’Leary would like to charge for using the bathroom on board an airline in this New York Times article.

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