How Do I Avoid Airport Charges?

Lainie Petersen

The best way to avoid airport charges, sometimes known as airport fees or airline charges, is to be aware of the various types of airport charges you may face while traveling. Charges can include those for booking tickets, baggage handling, and snacks and drinks. Many airlines also charge high fees for parking. Each airline has its own policies regarding these charges, so it is a good idea to visit the airline's website to learn about its charges in advance so that you can plan your trip accordingly.

Each airline has different charges and fees.
Each airline has different charges and fees.

Perhaps the most significant charges for travelers are those connected to baggage. To avoid airport charges for baggage, try and pack light so that you don't have to check any baggage at all. If that is not possible, weigh each bag at home in order to avoid having to pay for a bag that weighs more than airlines limit. Some airlines will give you a baggage check discount if you check your bags in at home through the airline's website. If you must transport a lot of luggage, you may wish to consider having your items shipped to your destination through the post office or another package service. Strangely enough, it may be cheaper to pay for expedited shipping than airport charges for baggage.

Airport shuttles are an efficient option for a passenger who doesn't want to park her car in an expensive airport lot.
Airport shuttles are an efficient option for a passenger who doesn't want to park her car in an expensive airport lot.

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Many airlines now expect customers to book their flights online. If you feel more comfortable booking a flight on the phone, you should know that some airlines will charge you an additional fee for this service. In addition, if you use a booking service rather than the airline's own website to book your fares, you may have to pay a booking fee. Unless you are completely uncomfortable booking air travel online, buy your tickets through the airline's website to save on fees.

Complimentary meals are often no longer available on airline flights, at least for travelers in the main cabin on flights that are less than four hours in length. Some airlines are also discontinuing complimentary nonalcoholic beverages. In some cases, however, you may have the option of buying food on the airplane, though this food is often expensive for what you get. Eat before you fly and pack snacks into your carry-on luggage so that you can eat if you get peckish.

Finally, try and take public transportation to the airport rather than pay for short or long-term airport parking. Parking fees can really add up and take a huge chunk out of your travel budget. Many cities offer several public transit options to airports, and these options may only cost you a few dollars.

An airport might charge for handling baggage.
An airport might charge for handling baggage.

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Be careful deplaneing aircraft onto tarmac recently injured.

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