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Do You Pay for Airline Extras?

Buzz Poole
03/19/2013 - 06:56
via Seeking Alpha

Let's face it: no matter how amazing the trip, getting there is not always part of the fun, especially if the transit between home and away includes a long, cramped flight. Sure, those twelve-hour flights give you time to read up on your destination, or finally relax after a few harried days of pre-departure odds and ends, but for the most part the seats are uncomfortable and the engine drones through headphones. If you're one of the lucky ones able to sleep solidly on airplanes, perhaps flights are enjoyable (and I envy you). For most of us, they're part of the process of traveling.

For reasons as varied as security measures and generating revenue, these days airlines don't dole out many free perks, and the number of extras that can be tacked on to the cost of a flight has really gone up over the last few years. The Economist's Gulliver has put together "Optional Extras," an "authoritative guide to what, and not, to spend your pennies on."

The list covers everything from paying extra to skip to the front of security checks to paying for inflight Wi-Fi. According to Gulliver it's best not to pay for either. When it comes to avoiding a long security line, the fees are high and unless you really need to make that flight (and couldn't get to the airport in time) "grin, bear it and people-watch while you wait," suggests the article. As for Wi-Fi, business travelers with expense accounts can justify it, but even then the service is usually spotty.

On long-haul flights, it seems like free movies are the norm anymore, but perhaps it's worth paying to see a new movie that you'd already been planning on seeing, so long as the cost is less than an actual movie ticket. And what about booze? As Gulliver points out, alcoholic drinks dehydrate you, so if the flight is charging save yourself some money, and avoid a headache while you're at it.

What extras are you willing to pay for, if any?

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