In 2011, for baggage fees alone, consumers paid $3.63 billion (yes, you read that right). The amount forked over in à la carte fees climbs higher each year, says Joel Frey, a spokesperson for the booking site Travelocity.com, as airlines pile on even more charges (the most current are outlined below). And while no new fees appear to be in the works, a recent poll found that 15 percent of people are willing to pay to get off the plane first, so don’t be surprised if you’re soon billed for that privilege. Bear in mind that learning about these charges isn’t easy. They aren’t published alongside fares, so you’ll have to do some digging on individual airline websites when figuring out the overall cost of your trip. But remember: By booking online, you can avoid or at the very least reduce some of the expense.
Carry-on bag: free to $45.
Checked baggage: first bag: free to $45. Second bag: Free to $55. Third bag: $50 to $150.
Pet boarding: $10 to $200.
Flight-reservation cancellation or change: free to $150.
Over-the-phone and in-person booking: free to $45.
In-flight TV or movie: free to $8.
In-flight Wi-Fi: $5 to $14 for a 24-hour unlimited pass.
Unaccompanied minor: free to $100.
Extra legroom and picking a seat: $4 to $199.
Snack: free to $10.
Meal: $3 to $14.
Nonalcoholic drink: free to $10.
Alcoholic drink: $5 to $10.
Pillow or blanket: free to $10.