Airline Fees: Pick your seat, pay the price

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DENVER -- Just in time for all of those summer vacations, there’s another headache to deal with at the airport. United Airlines announced it will no longer offer early boarding for families with young children. This is just the latest in a string of airline moves that have some travelers wanting to skip the plane altogether.

“Every bag that you check is $25 extra,” said traveler Bill Durham. “It seems like you get a little bit added on everywhere you turn.”

Now the latest fee: airlines including Delta, American, and US Airways will charge you more for window and aisle seats.

“Charging you for aisles and windows? Either keep your ticket fees straight or don’t,” said Michelle Mikus.

That means families and couples will have to pay more to sit together. Something many families are already having trouble with.

“They had all four of us scattered throughout the plane, including this little guy here, all by himself,” said Joe Whitcomb, who was traveling with his two young kids.

On top of that, now United will no longer let families board early.

“With the car seats and the strollers and all the luggage you have anyways it’s quite a process getting to the airport and on the plane,” Durham said.

All the fees are adding up. With fuel prices dropping, airlines are expected to make a big profit this summer. But just how long will travelers keep ponying up?

“Obviously if you can’t sit with your family, you can’t go on a family vacation with little kids,” Whitcomb said. “Fight back, I don’t know if that’s the correct term, but you might just not be going on vacation with your family.”

Driving and staying close to home are suddenly sounding a lot more attractive.

“We probably will eventually if it gets bad enough,” Durham said.

It seems the only way to get around some of these fees is loyalty. Elite frequent fliers get their bag fees waived and get to sit in those prime seats at no extra charge.

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