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Business Travel Travel Industry

Ultimate Guide to Airline Fees

In April, we reported that United Airlines would be increasing their ticket exchange fees in most markets by $50. And, of course, it didn’t take long for Delta, American, and others to follow close behind.

Keeping up with airline fees can certainly be confusing. Download the quick-reference guide, created by Smarter Travel, below to ease stress and eliminate any confusion over all the fees now associated with air travel.

And, as always, your Christopherson Business Travel agent can help educate you on the latest airline changes and how they might affect your next business trip.

Ultimate Guide to Airline Fees

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Business Travel

Delta Amends Various International Baggage Fees for Transatlantic and Transpacific Travel

We recently received the following update from Delta and thought it pertinent to share with you business travelers:
Delta Air Lines is amending various international baggage fees for both transatlantic and transpacific travel. The amendments apply for tickets issued on or after March 12, 2012, and for travel on or after March 12, 2012. Details of the changes are outlined below.
Transatlantic Travel Delta is amending its checked baggage fee structure for tickets issued on or after March 12, 2012, and for travel on or after March 12, 2012. The changes will affect travel between the Western Hemisphere* and Europe, and travel between the
Western Hemisphere* and North Africa.

Key Changes:

  • Decrease in second checked bag fee in coach from 75 EUR to 70 EUR
  • Increase in third through tenth bag fee from 200 USD to 285 USD
  • Increase in overweight fee from 75 USD to 100 USD; and decrease the Euro amount from 75 EUR to 70 EUR

Transpacific Travel
Delta is amending its checked baggage fee structure in the coach cabin for tickets issued on or after March 12, 2012, and for travel on or after March 12, 2012. The fees will affect travel between the Western Hemisphere* and US Pacific Trust Territories.
Key Change:

  • Add second checked bag fee of 75 USD

*Except Brazil
The highlights of the policy changes including effective dates, fee changes and applicable travel areas are noted in the chart below. Fees in bold reflect a change.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Hotels Reimbursing for Checked Baggage Fees!

With the dreary forecast of rising airfares and additional and increased ancillary fees, I was pleasantly surprised to read that hotels are coming to the rescue.  I recently saw that two hotel chains are offering a program in which they reimburse you for your checked baggage fees.  The Kimpton hotel chain and Intercontinental Hotels are offering programs for a limited time that allow you to submit proof of fees for reimbursement.  There are some restrictions and minimum night stays, but this is a great way to recoup some of your expenses and enjoy a little extra spending money.  Check out their websites for additional information!

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Travel Management Travel News

New FEES – United US/Canada Checked Baggage

Below is the checked baggage policy for United Economy® travel wholly within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
This policy has been revised, effective for tickets purchased on or after January 14, 2010 for travel on or after January 21, 2010. Fees for first and second checked bags have changed. There is still a discount for checked bag fees paid through EasyCheck-in Online® at united.com.
If you are traveling on an Economy ticket or an Economy award ticket, please see the information below regarding checked baggage fees that may apply.
Please note that there are some fee exceptions. All fees shown below are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise specified.
For customers who are not exempt, first and second bag fees (each way) when paid at the airport are as follows:
If you purchased your ticket(s)… for travel… then the following fees will apply for bags checked at the airport
First bag Second bag
before
January 14, 2010
anytime $20* $30*
on or after
January 14, 2010 before
January 21, 2010 $20* $30*
on or after
January 14, 2010
on or after
January 21, 2010 $25* $35*
*Baggage fees are per person and for a single direction of travel. United offers a discount if you check your bags via EasyCheck-in Online® at united.com within 24 hours of your flight. The amount of the discount percentage is subject to change without notice.

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Travel Management Travel News

Fees, Fees and more Airline Fees

In the beginning we may have been caught off guard by ancillary fees charged by some of the major airlines, Delta, United, Continental, American Airlines and others, but what is happening now? Are we learning to accept them, ignore them or just plain hate them?
According to a study by ProMedia Travel, many corporations are reporting that anywhere from 5% – 15% of their corporate travel budgets have been consumed by airline ancillary fees. What appears to have happened is that many airlines have ‘unbundled’ their fees, but have not lowered airfare. Consumers are okay with paying fees for items or services that add value to their travel experience, however, they are not okay with paying fees for what use to be included in the cost of their airline ticket such as baggage fees. Checking baggage is an essential part of travel and most people feel should be included in the price of the ticket, the quoted price by the airline, which it isn’t.
Several carriers, such as JetBlue and Southwest, are charging additional fees, but these fees are for services that add value while fares remain reasonable and a checked bag is included. This has allowed these airlines to generate revenue while at the same time keeping their customers happy. JetBlue does this by charging additional for seats with extra leg room and their TruBlue program has no blackout dates, you can use points to book any seat on the plane, points don’t expire and change and cancellation fees are reasonable. Though the boarding process with Southwest can be challenging at times, their philosophy is similar, they don’t charge change or cancellation fees and neither airline charges for the first checked bag, and they use this as a very effective advertising tool.  These airlines are actually turning million dollar profits while the major carriers are reporting multi million dollar losses.  When will the major airlines realize that there is something to be learned from JetBlue and Southwest Airlines?
We don’t necessarily need to become a prisoner to ancillary fees. Travel managers can try using the increased cost of doing business with the airlines as a tool during contract negotiations. The Department of Transportation could make a ruling mandating that airlines display what every passenger considers to be part of a reasonable airline ticket, and then allowing us to ‘opt out’ of items like a first check bag.

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Travel Management

Airline Fees, Alliances and Saving Money

Airline alliances – what is the fuss all about? Besides the ability to earn a free ticket by flying virtually any airline in the world is there really any benefit to knowing which alliance you should belong to? Well, consider this: “How to make consumer-hated airline fees more digestible” was the subject of a three-day meeting earlier this month of the Ancillary Revenue Airline Conference in Huntington Beach (fancy speak for a gathering of airline executives and businesses that serve the industry interested in finding ways to offer coach passengers separate products and services typically offered as part of the ticket price for business and first class passengers). The New York Times estimates that airlines collected $USD 10.25 billion in such fees in 2008 – a staggering 346 per cent increase over 2006. CLEARLY – fees are here to stay and more likely than not will spread to more services offered by airlines.
Understanding airline alliances – who partners with whom and who offers reciprocity – is one way you can avoid paying the fees being levied against the normal traveler these days. OneWorld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance ALL waive ancillary fees for their preferred customers.
To learn more about how to leverage your airline memberships while keeping a little extra money in your pocketbook over the holidays, call Christopherson/Andavo Travel and our trusted travel advisors will be glad to answer your questions.