1. Checked baggage fees
Our first three unreasonable fees all have to do with airlines. Major airlines often charge baggage fees — typically $25 to check one suitcase, a lot more if it’s oversized, overweight or both.
This fee didn’t exist until recent years and for good reason: The price of a plane ticket should obviously include luggage. Isn’t that an integral part of traveling long distances? Other travel-related services — buses, trains, hotels or rental cars — don’t charge for handling luggage. This isn’t a fee, it’s a sophomoric attempt to disguise a higher price.
Virtually all airlines now charge a fee for checked baggage on domestic flights, with the notable exception of Southwest, which will allow two checked bags free, so long as they are within regulation size and weight.
When you are looking at fares, check this chart or one like it to see how much you will pay for your luggage on top of airfare.
Most airlines allow one free carry-on bag, so the simplest solution is to get a regulation-sized carry-on and pack light. Also, some airlines waive baggage fees if you use their branded credit cards. For more ideas, see “10 Tips to Save on Baggage Fees.”