Michael Strickland's blog on all things travel: news, deals, destinations, dreams and more.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fewer fees—for a fee

Is a new era in airline a-la-carte fees emerging? After the major airlines have spent several years stripping out every service imaginable, and then charging a fee for it, at least one is now bundling them back together.

On Wednesday, American Airlines announced a new fare structure by which customers can opt to pay a higher fare that includes certain services like one checked bag, preferred seating and other perks. In other words, you can pay several smaller fees, or get the same perks by paying one larger fee.

Sounds like six of one, half a dozen of the other, and you can be sure the airlines are going to get your money one way or the other. But even if all it amounts to is spin, at least they seem to be trying to add a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.