Holiday Travelers Face Fees

Airline passengers who haven't flown since the last holiday season are discovering new and higher airline fees. 

Almost every major U.S. airline now charges $15 for the first checked bag.  The second bag will cost $25. 

Beverly Wright and her family were flying on United Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth to Denver and paid an additional $45 in fees.

"Three bags.  $15 dollars each.  $45 total," Wright said.

Airlines are also charging higher fees for overweight and oversize bags.  Some airlines are charging for curbside check-in, window seats and priority boarding.  Many fees for pets, unaccompanied minors, reservations by phone and ticket changes are also new or increased since 2007.

Portia Hodge noticed the higher prices for food and drinks on her US Airways flight.  "I asked for water and she was like $3.  I was like 'I'll cancel,'" Hodge said, describing her conversation with a fight attendant.

The fees are part of an ongoing effort by the airlines to boost their bottom line.  Despite lower fuel prices, the industry is still struggling to recover from years of losses. 

Many passengers are not happy about the fees, but say they have little choice but to pay them.  "There's nothing I can do about it.  Just go with the flow," said Wright.

You can see an entire chart of domestic airline fees at the travel Web site

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