Add-on airline fees for extra services that used to be included in fares are increasing in price and changing frequently, making fare comparison shopping more difficult, according to a new TravelNerd study.
Roughly 69 percent of the 52 fee changes at major U.S. carriers during the past year were direct fee increases, according to the survey. TravelNerd, a developer of online and mobile app travel tools, compared add-on fees at 14 major American airlines in January 2013 to those charged by carriers in 2012, tracking each fee change. Add-on fees are for services such as checked baggage, priority boarding and preferred seating.
And hold onto your pocketbooks and mental energy.
Airlines are creating complex new ways to charge for ancillary services — in some cases bundling or packaging those amenities together and offering fliers combined services at a discount to what they would cost on a one-off basis. (Read more: Add-On Airlines Fees: Good or Bad?)