ConsumerWatch: Adding Up All Those Airline Fees

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Security officers at San Francisco International Airport (David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Security officers at San Francisco International Airport (David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – With the travel season underway, more and more passengers are getting frustrated with added airline fees. From baggage to wireless signal access, last year the airline industry reported revenue of $22 billion from a la cart fees.

Travel attorney Al Anolik said those fees are even more complicated when it comes to baggage. According to Anolik, airlines have changed the way oversized baggage is measured.

When it comes to measuring a bags, airlines are starting to measure the wheels and the handles. If the length, width and height add up to more than 62 inches it could cost an extra $300 round trip.

“There’s no question that the airlines across the board have tightened,” said ATA Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. According to Heimlich, everything from real estate to gas prices has forced the airlines to generate new forms of revenue.

“The airlines have been selling these services for a while they just haven’t been separating the value of them,” he said.

Consumers looking for a bargain should still be cautious. A $20 savings from a travel Web site could end up costing more later when you factor in all the additional services that you may want to add on.

For a chart explaining airline fees, click here.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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