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4 Frustrating Travel Fees Experts Say Are Worth Paying

By Parker Diakite

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The business model used by Spirit, Allegiant, and Frontier Airlines has inarguably changed the game for its competition.

Over the years,  major airline companies, including United, Delta, and American have introduced basic economy fares to compete with its low-cost competitors – but the alleged “cheap fares” are costing passengers more.

For example, checked bags and sometimes carry-ons cost additional fees with the basic fare model and some airline companies will charge you more for a meal and entertainment on long-haul flights.

But it doesn’t stop there.

More recently, you book a flight and you’re immediately bombarded with emails suggesting to “pay an additional fee” for seat assignments, to board first, and even more legroom.

The bad news is airlines trying to incentivize flyers to spend more money is a trend that’s probably here for the long run. Airlines cashed in on an additional $5 billion from baggage fees alone last year.

Frustrating? Yes.  But some experts argue that not all fees are bad as some have proven to improve their travel experience.

Here are 4 frustrating fees that Chris McGinnis,  senior travel correspondent with SFGate, says are worth it.

More Seat Room

If you’re not an elite-status member, more legroom does not come free.  For McGinnis, he says that it’s worth paying extra for.

“On a long flight, a few extra inches can provide enough space to open up a laptop and be productive in flight. It can also make a big difference in comfort if you are tall.”

Early Boarding

According to McGinnis,  the extra $15 or $20 you will pay for priority boarding is worth it because it allows you to claim overhead bin space first.

Airport Lounge Access

This amenity especially comes in handy during the peak travel seasons when there aren’t any seats and you forced to stand or sit on the floor with your food and carry-ons.

Some airlines restrict access to members, so McGinnis recommends getting to the lounge early.  Some airports offer non-airline lounges, including The Club at SJC and The Club Lounge Network.

Hotel Clubs and/or Concierge Floor

Paying the premium will get you breakfast, snacks,  and hors d’oeuvres.   It’s also a great service if you’re traveling for business and don’t have a lot of downtimes.   These floors have better views and more space, according to McGinnis. 

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