5 U.S. Airlines Set To Introduce Summer Surcharges


united-airlinesGet ready to sweat this summer — not the temperatures, but for the rising fees airlines are hitting fliers with. Travelers will get soaked. If you were hoping for recession priced airfares to drop, you are in for┬ásticker shock as five airlines are launching surcharges for trips the whole summer through.

American, Delta, Continental, United and US Airways have all hiked fares for 73 out of 74 summer travel days. Only July 4th doesn’t get a fare hike.

“The family of 4 is really targeted with these fees — $25 for each checked bag and $60 for travelling on Sundays,” said Rick Seaney, CEO of Farecompare.com.

Here’s how the summer surcharges break down:

* $10/one way Tuesday, Wednesday

* $20/one way Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday

* $30/one way Sunday, which can add up to a whopping $240 extra for a family of four on a round trip.

Consumers are now facing a dizzying array of fees — baggage, food, pillows, blankets, headsets and now summer peak travel time.

“I would be much more comfortable with a higher fee in the beginning and not get nickel and dimed,” traveler Meg Dragoni said.

“It sounds like gouging to be honest,” said Donna Moustapha of Bay Ridge.

Southwest and Jet Blue have not jumped on board with this round of peak pricing, but still said demand is high and fares are already taking off.

“We don’t apply surcharges. The fare is the fare. It is a busy summer. Fares are higher. We do encourage fliers to book early, but we will not introduce any surcharges,” said Jets Blue Executive Vice President Robin Hayes.

To avoid the fare hikes, experts say know when to book.

“You need to be shopping Tuesday at 3 p.m., when airlines file their fees and they match in the morning. They remove those cheap fares on Thursday from reservations, so if shopping on the weekend you’re probably paying too much,” Seaney said.

And armed with purchasing strategies, you may just be able to pay a little less – if only a little.

{CBS TV/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}