List of Airline Charges for Domestic Flights

Check-in CounterCheck-in Counter

With the travel season in full swing, well-informed travelers have a hard time finding the best deals amidst the new charges Airlines have invented.

Instead of comparing ticket prices, travelers should calculate the total cost of the flight, including baggage charges, food, drinks, entertainment, and many more fees that Airlines have come up with in an attempt to disguise the true ticket price.

In this article, we reveal additional fees to help you calculate the true cost of your trip.

The following lists are not exhaustive and fees are not guaranteed. All information provided applies only to coach and only to domestic flights (continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii).

This article was last updated July 1, 2010.

 

Checked Luggage

Comparison Table for Luggage checked with US carriers:

Overweight charges are not included in this list. 

Airlines

Checked Luggage (Excess Luggage and Overweight Fee may apply)

Exceptions

Alaska Airlines

$20 (1st-3rd), $50 (4th and up)

Unless ticket purchased before 5/1/10: $15 (1st), $25 (2nd)

American Airlines

$25 (1st), $35 (2nd), $100 (3rd, 4th, 5th), $200 (6th and up)

Unless ticket purchased before 1/31/10.

Continental Airlines

Check-in online: $23 (1st), $32 (2nd)// Check-in at airport: $25 (1st), $35 (2nd)

Unless ticket purchased btw. 10/2/09-1/8/10: Online: $18 (1st), $27 (2nd); Airport: $20 (1st), $30 (2nd)

Delta Air Lines

Check-in online: $23 (1st), $32 (2nd)// Check-in at airport: $25 (1st), $35 (2nd)

N/A

Frontier Airlines

$20 (1st), $30 (2nd), $50 (3rd and up)

Unless ticket purchased before 9/7/09: $15 (1st), $25 (2nd)

Hawaiian Airlines

Check-in online: $23 (1st), $32 (2nd)// Check-in at airport: $25 (1st), $35 (2nd)

Unless ticket purchased before 1/21/10: Online: $15 (1st), $25 (2nd)// Airport: $25 (1st), $30 (2nd)

Horizon Air

Part of Alaska Airlines

 

JetBlue Airways

1st free (within max. dimensions and weight), $30 (2nd), $75 (3rd and up)

N/A

Northwest Airlines

*Now Delta

 

Southwest Airlines

1st & 2nd free, $50 (3rd-9th), $100 (10th and up)

N/A

United Airlines

$25 (1st), $35 (2nd)

Unless ticket purchased before 1/14/10: $20 (1st), $30 (2nd)

US Airways

Check-in online: $23 (1st), $32 (2nd)// Check-in at airport: $25 (1st), $35 (2nd)// $100 (3rd and up) only at airport

Unless ticket purchased before 1/18/10: Online: $20 (1st), $30 (2nd)// Airport: $25 (1st), $35 (2nd)// $100 (3rd and up) only at airport

Virgin America

$25 (1st), $25 (2nd-10th)

Unless ticket purchased before 2/11/10: $20 (1st), $20 (2nd-10th)

Most airlines allow you to take a small suitcase and a personal item with you as carry-on luggage (into the cabin). A personal item can be a laptop bag or a backpack. Since airlines started to charge fees for checked luggage, many travelers started taking larger and larger carry-on items. However, keep in mind that most airlines also have size and weight limits for carry-on items. Recently, they have started to enforce those guidelines more strictly.


Food and Drinks

Airline MealAirline Meal

Comparison Table for Food and Drink charges with US carriers:

Airlines

Food

Drinks

Alaska Airlines

Snacks - $3.50-6, Breakfast and Sandwich - $6, Platters (Antipasto or Fruit & Cheese) -$7

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Alcoholic bev. - $6

American Airlines

Breakfast Snack - $3, Breakfast Cafe Box - $6, Nut Snacks - $3, Boston Market Sandwich or Chicken Caesar Salad - $10

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Wine, Liquor - $7, Beer - $6

Continental Airlines

Complimentary Snacks, Complimentary Meals on flights longer than 3 hours, Plan to charge for meals beginning fall 2010

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Alcoholic bev. - $6

Delta Air Lines

Complimentary Snacks, Breakfast - $3-7, Lunch & Dinner - $6-8, Additional Snacks - $2-5

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Beer - $5//  Wine & Liquor - $7

Frontier Airlines

Snacks -$3, Breakfast and Sandwich -$6, Salad -$7

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Bottled Water, Energy Drinks - $3// Alcoholic bev. - $5

Hawaiian Airlines

Complimentary Meals, Premium Meals - $10, Snacks - $5.50-6.50

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Alcoholic bev. - $6.50

Horizon Air

Snack Packs - $6

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Complimentary Wine & Beer// Liquor - $6

JetBlue Airways

Complimentary Snacks, Meals - $6

Non-Alcoholic Bev. - Compl., Alcoholic Bev. $6

Northwest Airlines

*Now Delta

 

Southwest Airlines

Complimentary Snacks, No Sandwiches/ Meals

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Energy Drink - $3// Alcoholic bev. - $5

United Airlines

Snackboxes - $6-7, Meals: Breakfast - $5, Lunch & Dinner - $9

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Alcoholic bev. - $6

US Airways

Snacks - $3-4, Snack Box - $6, Meals - $7

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Alcoholic bev. - $7

Virgin America

Snacks and meals - $2-10

Complimentary non-alcoholic bev.// Premium non-alcoholic bev. & alcoholic bev. - $2-10

The times where you can indulge in free food and drinks are long gone, but if I have to pay for my meals, I expect something better.

Although you cannot bring liquids through security, you can buy anything at the airport stores. Currently, most airlines still offer complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.

You can bring food through security and I would not hesitate to do so.

 

Entertainment, Headsets, Pillows and all other charges

In Flight Entertainment
image by satosphere

Comparison Table for all other charges with US carriers:

Airlines

Headsets/Wi-Fi

Pillow/ Blanket

Alaska Airlines

Inflight Wi-Fi access on select flights, Fees

No info

American Airlines

Headsets - $2, Inflight Wi-Fi access on 767-200, select MD80s, and soon on 737, Fees

$8 pillow and blanket (for you to keep after the flight; pillow is inflatable; includes coupon for Bed, Bath & Beyond)

Continental Airlines

Headsets - $3

No info

Delta Air Lines

Inflight Wi-Fi access on selected planes, Fees

Free blanket

Frontier Airlines

Complimentary headsets or bring your own

No info

Hawaiian Airlines

Headsets - $5, $5 for inflight movies (even if you bring your own headsets), $15 player & 2 rental headsets

No info

Horizon Air

*Part of Alaska Airlines

 

JetBlue Airways

Complimentary e-mail access on BetaBlue, $ for headsets or bring your own

$7 pillow and blanket (includes coupon for cleanrest.com)

Northwest Airlines

*Now Delta

 

Southwest Airlines

No Info

No info

United Airlines

Complimentary headsets, Inflight Wi-Fi access, Fees

Only on international flights.

US Airways

Inflight Wi-Fi access, Fees

$7 Pack with pillow, blanket, eye mask, ear plugs

Virgin America

Headsets - $2 or bring your own, Inflight Wi-Fi access, Fees

$12 Pack with pillow, blanket, eye mask, ear plugs

Paying for headsets is not really a big deal breaker for me, since I prefer my own headsets. Since plane hygiene is also not what is used to be, I also prefer to bring my own inflatable pillow.

You can get airline headphone adapters in most electronics stores. Buy them ahead of time. The stores in the airport pay hefty fees to the airport operators. Those fees are reflected in their prices.

Conclusion

I wonder when we will have to pay for the luxury of having an oxygen mask available or a live-vest/ floatation device.

I wish there was a federal regulation that would force airlines to reflect all charges in the ticket price. Until this happens, we are devoted to keep this list up-to-date and we ask you to help us.

If you discover a new charge, please let us know so that we can update this list. Simply email us through the contact form. We will work it into the article.

We created this list to the best of our knowledge, based on personal experience, and reports we have received. We do not guarantee its completeness or correctness, nor do we accept any claims based on this list. We promise to do our best to keep up with the constant changes introduced by the Airlines. If you are aware of any changes, please let us know.

 

This article was a collaboration effort of:

Dani (Trip Galleries)

and me (My Travel Photos)

AA offers Internet

American Airlines joins the ranks of airlines offering internet. They are going to start it on routes connecting New York with San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. The charge will be $12.95 per flight.

United is soon going to charge up to $9 for snacks. No more free snacks.

United will also drop their complimentary business class meals except for some fligts from San Francisco or L.A. to New York.

Wow, that was a ton of

Wow, that was a ton of work putting that together, and exactly the sort of thing airlines don't want people to do.   By taking things we used to get in the base fare and turning them into fees and extras, it's now very difficult to comparison shop for flights.  So, what appears to be the lowest fare might not really be.

I think the first place that does a reasonable job of taking something like your grid, and applying it to a live, dynamic shopping comparison will become very popular. 

==

Delta charges

Headsets on Delta flights are comp for first class and $2.00 for coach.  Also, Delta is now a "cashless" airline.  Everything must be put on a charge card (including the $2 headsets)

US airlines

US airlines is stink. All USA airports for all USA airlines are not friendly people. All international airlines (no USA airlines) that I flew Korean Air and Lufthansas are very friendly people and staff. No charge for baggages, food, and drinks, etc.

I suggested who fly USA airlines to bring your own snacks (not opened) with you and bottled water or soda. Ask flight attendant for a cup of ice for free.

I dislike USA airline food....too cheap and taste terrible. I got sick several times. I bet there is a muslim workers at the food service to put something to make air passengers sick. Watch out!

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Wow this airline is

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List of Charges

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