Southwest Airlines Quietly Adding Some Fees

DENVER (CBS4) – A lot of travelers opt for Southwest Airlines for their less expensive fares and the few fees they tack on, but be aware the airline is quietly adding some fees.

4 On Your Side Money Saver Suzanne McCarroll found out what to look for.

A lot of Southwest travelers know how to play the system by booking multiple flights to the same destination knowing they’ll just cancel the one they don’t want. It’s been easy to do since there are no change or cancelation fees.

“Yes I do from time to time because you can cancel the flight and save the trip for later,” one traveler said.

But some travelers double and triple book but never cancel their reservations since they won’t lose money. Now Southwest says in 2013 those who don’t cancel will be out some out of pocket cash.

Another new fee is an increase from $50 to $75 if luggage is overweight.

Still, Southwest travelers get two free bags, and those in the travel industry say compared to other major airlines, the Southwest tack-ons are nothing.

“They have not been capitalizing on the fees like the rest of the airlines,” Sherri Teter with the Washington Park Travel Agency said.

Teter says airlines fees are here to stay.

“I think the fee thing has been very successful for the other airlines,” she said.

Teter says passengers need to be more aware of fees no matter what airlines they choose.


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