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The Craziest Airline Fees

3.7k votes 337 voters 20.2k views24 items

List RulesUpvote the craziest airline fees

When searching the top online travel sources for saving money, most travelers concentrate on the base fare of the ticket when choosing a flight deal. In recent years, the moderately low increase in base fare combined with the almost tripled price for fuel has left many travel industry giants scrambling to find a way to fill seats without assaulting profit margins. Their answer: ridiculous airline fees. 

With so many unnecessary rules and ridiculous fees for flying, more and more large airlines are finding themselves among the ranks of companies with awful customer service for the refusal to waive flight charges or disclose hidden fees when flying. Among the more ridiculous fees charged by airlines are added costs to check bags, charges for unaccompanied minors, and huge costs for taking a pet on board. Some fees can often be avoided by making different arrangements (while others are actually being offered as services to benefit fliers), there are other hidden airline charges like fees for carry on luggage, charges for in-flight entertainment, and even a fee to use the toilet on shorter flights. These stupid airline fees are what make flying nearly unbearable.

What are the craziest airline fees? What are the hidden costs of traveling? What are the dumbest airline fees? Some travelers have come to accept costs for checking baggage and paying for a meal on board, but there are plenty of other ridiculous airline fees that can be avoided (and should never be charged, for that matter). Take a minute to upvote the worst airline fees here on this list of weirdest airline fees so you and other fliers can get the word to airlines that these crazy fees to fly are just too much.
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  • 1
    100
    66

    Carry-On Bags

    Some airlines, like Spirit, charge up to $80 for a carry-on bag
  • 2
    56
    45

    Priority Boarding

    Southwest charges $40 to cut to the front of the line when boarding
  • 3
    63
    58

    Alcoholic Beverages

    Even on international flights, many airlines (like American) will only offer beer & wine free of charge (if at all)
  • 4
    48
    48

    Empty Middle Seat

    For a fee you can ensure the middle seat of your row is left vacant
  • 5
    51
    59
    A seemingly great way to kill time will also run you as much as $14 for the day (without the ability to stream video)
  • 6
    47
    54

    In-Cabin Pets

    A $250 fee is common (Delta, United, US Airways) with some like Hawaiian charging $350 to carry a pet onboard
  • 7
    38
    54

    Video Games

    Access to seat back games will run you $5 plus
  • 8
    33
    48

    Snacks

    Honey roasted peanuts have become a luxury with the cost of some snack boxes running into double digits
  • 9
    36
    55

    Headphones

    Expect to pay at least $2 if you forget your headphones at home (or if the aircraft uses the old 2-prong outlet)
  • 10
    34
    54

    Unaccompanied Minor

    Sending a minor on a flight by themselves may carry a fee of up to $150 each way on the likes of United
  • 11
    32
    51

    Movies

    Expect to pay about $6-8 per movie for newer flicks
  • 12
    35
    56

    Change Flight

    Prepare to pay a flat change fee of up to $450 on carriers like Delta as well as any changes in price for the ticket
  • 13
    26
    45

    Baggage Delivery

    US Airways offers bag delivery from $29.95 per bag
  • 14
    31
    54

    Infant Fee

    Carrying an infant under the age of 2 could run you up to $50 each way on budget airlines like RyanAir
  • 15
    28
    52

    TV Episodes

    $1 per episode ($2 for HBO) is pretty standard in the economy cabin
  • 16
    79
    185

    Use Credit Card for Booking

    Many airlines will charge a flat fee or percentage of the ticket cost to use a credit card for purchase
  • 17
    84
    242

    Use the Toilet

    RyanAir is moving forward with plans to charge up to $1.70 to use the bathroom on flights less than an hour long
  • 18
    57
    199

    Checked Baggage

    Standard size baggage can run you up to $50 each way on the likes of Allegiant Air
  • 19
    55
    212

    Pillows and Blankets

    On Virgin America, expect to pay $10 for this bit of comfort
  • 20
    47
    186

    Print Boarding Pass at Airport

    If you fail to print a boarding pass at home, RyanAir will charge you over $110 per pass printed at the airport
  • 21
    43
    176

    Booking Through a Representative

    Direct ticketing could cost you as much as $35 extra if you need to book through a representative
  • 22
    37
    174

    Change Name On Ticket

    RyanAir will charge you as much as $260 just to change the name on your ticket
  • 23
    36
    182

    Check in at Airport

    More common outside of the US, carriers like RyanAir and airBaltic impose fees in excess of $13 to check in at the airport
  • 24
    33
    170

    Check in Online

    Many tickets come with a built-in fee to check in online