According to a Consumer Travel Alliance poll, two-thirds of flyers said they were "broadsided" by unexpected charges. What can you do? Follow our tips on avoiding the most ridiculous charges.
1. Surcharges for Human Contact
Don't laugh, but American Airlines charges $25 if you buy your ticket over the phone and speak to a human being. Worse, if you buy your ticket in person, at their counter, the charge goes up to $35.
How to avoid: Buy your ticket online.
2. Carry-on Charges
Spirit Airlines led the pack when it came to charging for carry-ons: $30 (at the time of online booking), $35 (at online check in) or $40-$45 per bag (counter check-in ticket purchase).
How to avoid: Get a carry-on that fits under your seat (dimensions vary, but for most planes, 19 inches wide x 17 deep x 9.5 or 10 tall will work). For now, under-seat carry-ons are still free on most airlines.
3. Checked-Baggage Fees
Most airlines charge $25 for the first checked bag and $35 to $40 for the second.
How to avoid: If you're traveling in the United States, ship your bags ahead via the U.S. Postal Service - it takes time and planning but can save money and frustration. You also have a paper trail and even insurance.