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New airline fees coming? [Video chat]

October 04, 2012|By Pat Benson

New airline fees could be coming.

That's the take of George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, a low-airfare alert and air travel advice website. Hobica talked with airline industry reporter Hugo Martin about trends in airline fees.

The latest comes from Spirit Airlines, whose website lists 72 fees in eight different categories, including baggage fees, seat fees and on-board food and drink fees.

Spirit, the first U.S.-based carrier to impose a fee for carry-on bags, this week announced that it will soon begin charging $100 if passengers show up to the gate with a carry-on bag instead of paying ahead of time. That's up from $45.

Airlines are drumming up new fees in the face of higher fuel prices. And in Spirit's case, too, to speed up the boarding process. Despite the fees, the airline boasts among the lowest airfares around, Hobica points out.

One fee that exists in Europe, and that wouldn't surprise Hobica if it surfaced in the U.S., is a lap child fee. Parents, take note.

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