The website www.nerwallet.com helps the business traveller sort and compare various airline fees.
Airline fees would look pretty much the same if you were to give them a cursory once-over. However, there are also a million-and-one hidden costs that seem to exist for the sole purpose of catching you unawares.
Nerdwallet.com has come up with a solution for this. The personal finance site, known for its credit card comparisons, recently launched a new tool that helps travellers find and compare airline fees, without having to comb through multiple sites. From baggage check to seat selection and even for booking over the phone versus online, the site comes to the rescue, allowing you to make a choice that is truly cheaper, thanks to its new feature that gives you the option of comparing airlines. The tool includes major US airlines and looks at about 300 different fees, including those for checked baggage, seat selection, priority boarding, booking over the phone instead of online and for carrying a pet on board.
Rules require airlines to disclose mandatory fees, but that generally doesn’t happen until the point of purchase online. It usually takes a lot of clicking through the airline’s site to find the information. Additonally, many airlines not only charge a fee for checked bags, but they add fees if the bag is oversize and overweight. NerdWallet’s tool presents all this information in one place. Click on any given airline and nearly two-dozen categories and the accompanying fees will show up immediately. For example, if you were to click on Delta Airlines, you would get price details for:
Baggage (Carry-on, checked-in, overweight bag, oversized bag), ticket booking & change (over the phone, online and through an agent), seating selection & boarding, unaccompanied minors, pets, food and beverages. All this, for both a roundtrip and one-way travel.
The better use of this tool is to create comparisons by selecting options – such as a single checked bag or seat selection – and see how the airline fees stack up. You can also check for add-on fees and compare flat and segment fees.