Frequent flyer ticket fees, airline by airline

George Hobica, May 29, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Frequent flyer tickets are supposed to be free, right? Well, not exactly. Airlines are socking it to passengers with all kinds of fees.

    American in particular is killing customers with fees. Imagine this scenario: you book a frequent flyer ticket at the last minute, then have to change the date of travel, but ultimately can't make the trip (illness, death in the family, whatever): your total fees (assuming you want to redeposit the miles for future use) will be $405 without even leaving the ground! They even charge $5 for booking an award ticket online!

    Airline

    "Last minute" ticketing
    Ticket issued by phone or in person
    Date/itinerary change
    Redepositing miles/points
    Same day change fee (confirmed travel)
    Airtran  $0  $10 paid online, $20 at airport  $50

     51-70 lbs (23-32kgs): $29

    71 to 99 lbs: $69

    62-70 total linear inches: $29; 71-80 inches $69
    Alaska  $0  $0 Bags 1-3: $50; 4-6: $75; 7th or more: $150 51-100 lbs: $50  63-80 inches: $50; 81-115 inches: $75
    American Travel ticketed 20 to 7 days  prior to departure $50; 6 days to 2 hours prior to departure: $100  $5 online/$20 by phone/$30 in person $150 (MileSAAver Award tickets for which the only confirmed change is to the date and/or time will not incur the change fee) $150 $150
    Continental Ticketed within 4 to 14 days: $50; 3 days or less: $75 (discounts for upper tier frequent flyers)  $25 $50  (discounts for upper tier frequent flyers) $50(discounts for upper tier frequent flyers) $50  (discounts for upper tier frequent flyers)
    Delta Travel ticketed 20 days or less: $75 $25-$50 $100 $100 $50
    Frontier  $0  $25  $50 51-100 lbs: $50 ($75 effective June 10, 2008) 63-80 inches: $50 ($75 effective June 10, 2008)
    JetBlue  $0  $20  $75 51-70 lbs: $50; 71-99 lbs: $100 63-80 inches: $75
    Northwest  $0  $25  $100  51-70 lbs: $50 63-160 inches: $100
    Spirit $10 online/$20 at airport $20 Bags 3-5: $100 51-70 lbs: $25 ($50 June 10, 2008 onward)

    71 to 99 lbs: $100

    62-79 inches: $100; 80 inches and over: $150 
    Southwest  $0 $0 First additional bag: $25; bags 4-9: $50; 10 and more: $110 51-70 lbs: $25; 71-100 lbs: $50 62-80 inches: $50
    United  $0  $25  Bags 1-4: $100; 5th or more: $150  $100 63-115 inches: $100
    US Airways Ticketed 14 days or less: $50 online/$75 by phone  $25 $100 $50-400
    (depending on the number of miles)
    $25
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