Pay to Play.

Fee-nominal Frontier flight

It’s October, and I keep meaning to bring my kids to a corn maze. But I haven’t so far – what with the economy and all. Anyway, earlier this month, I had to take a last-minute trip to California for a family emergency and encountered a maze of a different sort.

The airline fee maze. Here is a list of fees I encountered:

Fee: $25 to make a reservation via phone within four hours of the flight. I avoided it by taking a slightly later flight and making the reservation online.

Fee: $15 to check a bag and $25 for a second bag. I avoided this one too since the first-bag policy doesn’t take effect until November 1, and I shoved everything else in a carry-on to get out of the second-bag charge.

Fee: $8 to watch a movie on the plane; $5.95 for TV. I managed to convince my kids that there were no kids movies, but I did pay a total of $11.90 to keep them glued to cartoons.

Fee: $2 for headphones. Flight attendants didn’t charge this time.

Fee: $6 for a sandwich; $3 for snacks; $3 for energy drinks, beer or liquor. I stuck to ginger ale, but unloaded $6 total to get the kids some chips.

So, in addition to the price of the tickets, I paid $17.90 for things that used to be free, and I consider myself lucky. – Jonathan Shikes

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