New Airline Regulations and Surcharges

By: Mikemulkern
Big changes are in the air. Since the attack on the United States in September 2001, we have seen many changes in our travels, especially air travel. There is much more security, especially screening at the airport and what we are able to bring on the plane with us, as we do our business or go on vacation. Now in addition to all the security we are seeing a great increase in airfares as the industry struggles with the current prices of fuel. If you have flown lately you are well aware of this.

The airlines are in trouble financially and they simply must increase fares. In addition they have added a fuel surcharge to every ticket. Although this charge has been added in the past, we are seeing large increases to this charge today.

For example, the major airline in the US has charged an additional twenty dollars on a roundtrip, on top of what you were paying before. You will witness many other airlines following suit. Unfortunately, this will not change anytime soon. As long as the price of fuel stays high, we will see the fuel surcharges increasing along with gas prices.

Now the airlines are adding baggage surcharges. Nearly all airlines are adding $25 for the second bag and a few are charging for all bags. This will increase the price of your trip by $50 or more. It will get to the point where it might become too expensive to fly for some people. Some airlines, like Southwest, still have no additional charges. This is because they were able to secure fuel at around 50 dollars per barrel this year, which is much less than the current rate. Look for Southwest to raise prices as their costs go up.

The reasoning behind these surcharges is all about fuel. If there is not so much baggage then more people can fit. That means more money from ticket sales. You also may have witnessed how some airlines are giving large discounts to travelers who are not bringing any luggage. However, this is just simply not an option for a lot of us.

Be sure to check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before you travel to see the latest regulations for checked and carry-on baggage. There have been some important changes in the last year or so you need to know, especially if you are not a frequent traveler. Most new regulations have to do with bringing liquids on the aircraft.

After the arrest of terrorists with liquid bombs a few years ago, you weren't allowed to carry on any liquids. This regulation has eased as some passengers require medicines, food, etc.

These new rules essentially require everyone to bring no more than 3 ounces each of their liquid, gel or aerosol needs and put them all in one see-thru plastic bag that can be inspected at security at the airport. As you know this is all about a terrorist threat a few years ago. So for your own safety be prepared before arrival at the airport.
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