Guide to Extra Airline Fees

Many travellers are unaware of the variety of services for which airlines now charge a fee?

Credit: mileena

Travelling with baby will cost you extra on some airlines

When it comes to flying these days, you now need to budget for much more than just the price of your flight.

Airlines will charge for just about anything extra they can get away with these days. And many people aren’t aware of a number of these seldom-publicized fees.

Gun Check

You may not realize that in this day of increased security you can actually check firearms on many airlines. Rifles and shotguns (which have to be unloaded, of course) will cost you $50 to check on all Air Canada flights.

Door-to-Door Luggage

United Airlines offers the convenience of shipping your bags door to door in order to save you from having to carry them through the airport and check them on your flight. This could be a great option if, for some reason, you’re travelling with more luggage than usual and don’t need access to your bags right away. Of course, it comes at a cost: $149 for next-day service provided by FedEx.

There are a number of restrictions that come with this service, including no service on Sundays and oversized-bag costs. Do some research ahead of time to see if this method could be helpful for you.

Pets in the Cabin

Did you know your pet could travel with you in the cabin of the plane? For $100 one-way, Delta Airlines will allow you to carry your pet onboard. It would actually cost you even more to check your pet for travel in the belly of the plane along with the checked luggage (about $175 for that service). There are, however, restrictions on which pets are allowed in the cabin. For example, on Delta Airlines you can bring dogs, cats and household birds aboard with you, but sorry, no frogs or pot-bellied pigs.

Seats for Children

More than 10,000 young people fly unaccompanied with Air Canada each year. If you’re thinking of sending your child alone on a flight, keep in mind you’ll have to pay an extra fee to do so. Air Canada charges $100 each way, per child, per flight. American Airlines charges the same, as does Delta.

Some airlines will also charge you for taking your infant onboard with you, even if you don’t book them their own seat. Many people avoid booking a seat for their infant so they won’t have to pay extra. But if you have to pay a fee anyway, it might be a better idea to give yourself a break and let your child have their own seat. 

And one last item that I couldn’t resist mentioning — antlers! Believe it or not, Air Canada actually has a fee for this. It’s $150 to check your antlers or horns. Good to know. n

Other Airline Charges

Here are a couple of other fees that you may not know about, but which are easy enough to avoid with a little advance planning:

  • Duffle bags: Some airlines measure a bag size to the point of fullness and will charge you on top of the fee for checked luggage. Avoid the oversize fee by merging items into another bag or simply by carrying a smaller bag.

  • Pillows and blankets: Many airlines now charge $7 for a blanket and pillow set. You can always avoid paying the extra by bringing your own.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.