Thursday, November 19, 2015

According to a new survey.
Travelers loathe fees that they have no choice but to pay,
including charges to connect to the Internet, check a bag on their flight, and
connect to a cellular network abroad.
That's according toa new national survey
of fee-paying U.S.
travelers commissioned by MileCards.com.
Among the findings: More than 7 in 10 travelers said they hate fees
for connecting to a wireless network.
These charges are common on planes, in
hotels, airports and convention centers. In an "always-on" society, being
connected is no longer an option for many travelers.
Some 65% said they loathe luggage fees.
Charges for bags are
counterintuitive, rising even when the price of jet fuel drops and increasing
by multiples as you check more bags.
What's more, most travelers say they have
no choice but to check at least one bag.
Almost the same number of travelers (63%) said they strongly dislike cell
phone roaming fees.
Charges for phone calls and data when you're out of your
network can easily double your wireless bill.
Many travelers simply turn off
their phones rather than face the prospect of a higher bill.
Among other unpopular fees: out-of-network ATM fees, advance seat
assignment fees on flights, and resort fees.
"The number-one reason travelers hate fees is the lack of choice to pay
them," says Brian Karimzad, director of MileCards.com.
"That's why Wi-Fi and
resort fees are so hated.
If you're doing work, you have no choice but to pay
up for Wi-Fi.
And if you're staying at a hotel with a resort fee, there's
nothing optional about it.
These are things that should be bundled into the
sticker price of your stay." Airlines are the worst The survey found
airlines have the most unreasonable fees.
Four out of ten travelers identified
the airline industry as having the worst surcharges, well ahead of banks and
car rental companies (10% each), and phone carriers and hotel chains (9%
each).
It is easy to see why airlines won by a wide margin.
Six of the worst fees
were airline-specific, with air carriers raking in extras for everything from
phone reservations to seats with a reasonable amount of legroom.
And they can
add significantly to the cost of your trip.
A recent study estimated North
American airlines will collect almost $11 billion in fees this year.
Indeed, travelers complained that they paid airline fees more often than any
other, with baggage charges leading the pack (41%) followed by ATM fees (33%),
Wi-Fi (24%) and cell phone data roaming (22%).
All told, airlines raked in
$3.5 billion in baggage fees last year, up from $3.3 billion a year before.
A mixed outlook for 2016 There's good news and bad news for travelers who
hate fees, says Karimzad.
"The good news is more and more hotels and airports are moving away from
charging for basic Wi-Fi access," he says.
But airline fees are here to stay, as are other unpopular surcharges.
"Resort fees seem as prevalent as ever," says Karimzad.
"I've even paid
resort fees at some urban properties that are questionable resorts." Resort
fees are problematic, because they are mandatory fees added to a hotel rate,
whether you use an amenity or not.
Often, hotels wait until the final booking
screen to reveal the fees, and some hotels don't inform their guests until
checkout.
Some hotels add mandatory resort fees that exceed $100 per day.
A coalition of consumer advocates are pressuring the Federal Trade
Commission to force hotels to include all mandatory fees in the initial rate
quote, and some industry-watchers predict they could succeed in 2016.
If you want to stay away from fees, you could always rent a car.
The
MileCards.com survey found car rental customers had the least animosity toward
the companies, when it came to fees.
"Rental car fees are among the least
hated," adds Karimzad, noting that less than 40% of travelers who paid rental
car insurance or refueling fees felt they were "very unreasonable." "This
could be because they are among the longest standing travel fees, and well
ingrained in habits, or because consumers have more options to avoid paying
them via credit card or other coverage," he says.
"Paying feels more like a
choice than a requirement." This story originally appeared on Fortune.
More good reads from Fortune:
• People Are Taking Volkswagen Up On Its $1,000 'Good Will' Offer
• Google Map Reviewers Can Get This Helpful Feature for Free
• With No Airbus A380 Sales at Dubai, It's the End of an Airliner Era
Travelers loathe fees that they have no choice but to pay,
including charges to connect to the Internet, check a bag on their flight, and
connect to a cellular network abroad.
That's according toa new national survey
of fee-paying U.S.
travelers commissioned by MileCards.com.

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