Extra travel fees bring customization options that can make for a more pleasant air, hotel, land or sea experience. Also called "user fees," those who value the option they provide are relatively happy to pay. After all, these are not mandatory fees but options. Still, just the dollar amount makes experts wonder, "What's next?"
Airline fees should add up to $36.1 billion in 2012, according to a recent study fromIdeaWorksCompany reported in the Los Angeles Times. That includes extra travel fees for checked baggage, Internet use, food, drinks, premium seating, quick boarding and more. Up more than 10% over 2011, online travel agencies and airlines have figured out how to position buying options in the booking process. Out of convenience, passengers make online buying decisions to save time at the airport."They are understanding how to raise and lower fees to maximize overall revenue and how to better position items in the booking path to drive better sales," said Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorksCompany in the Los Angeles Timesreport.
While there are no hard numbers on cruise line extra travel fees, those can add up too, as travelers choose premium dining options, tours ashore and onboard extras to customize their travel experience.
Sure, we don't have to check luggage, enjoy a drink on board or use the Internet in the air. It is a choice travelers make, an optional travel expense.
Air travelers can choose to carry on their luggage, take any seat they get, enjoy whatever is included with the flight and not spend one penny more on extra travel fees. Cruise travelers can indeed sail and spend nothing more than the price of the cruise.
But do we really want to?
Apparently not, as extra fees are becoming so commonplace that they are rarely questioned or even complained about. Optional user fees are designed to charge those who want the service and let others save the charge as we see in this video: