NEW YORK (CBS 2) – The price to fly this holiday season is up as much as 18 percent compared to last year thanks to disappearing discounts.
While many frequent travelers prefer to fly, the changes in policies across the airline industry are frustrating.
“You know they cut the ticket, but the added fees made it worse,” said Diane Hatcman, of Norwalk, Conn.
Hatchman is referring to the check-in baggage and on-board meals—both items that are no longer complimentary for flyers.
It’s a price that has traveler Jimmy King questioning the airlines.
“If I did what we did before, to eat, board early, sure it would double the price,” King said. “Not double the price. It’d add a third to the price of this ticket.”
George Hobica of AirfareWatchdog.com said airlines are even scaling back on bereavement fares. A decade ago, they were 50 percent off. Now some carriers only offer 5 to 20 percent off.
“Some of the fees may seem unfair, but they do represent a cost that is incurred by the airline,” Hobica said.
Traveler Joe Piasevoli said it’s unfair to flyers.
“It’s almost as if the airlines are preying on people because they just don’t have the time to go through the process for a bereavement fare,” Piasevoli said.
Soon, there may be no discounts for babies either. As a safety measure, the Federal Aviation Administration may require parents buy a separate seat for any child under the age of two.
Shaindy Bass and her husband say they’d rather drive home to Iowa than pay $900 to fly with their 2-year-old daughter.
“It’s a waste of money. They’re not going to sit in their seat anyway. And I don’t think it’s any safer. What’s the point? If there’s turbulence, my kid is going to want to be in my arms. Not in the seat,” Bass said.
Even passengers who travel without a seat are paying more than they used to. The price for a pet to fly sometimes costs more than their owner’s ticket.
“Sometimes they charge you like $150. That’s kinda like too high,” pet owner Vicki Zhi said.
To pay for a round-trip for your pet, it could cost as much as $300—triple what you paid less than a decade ago.
Despite it all, many travelers said they know paying the fees is a necessity.
Airline experts say many of the fees make up for the rising cost of fuel.