Delta’s Round of Junk Fee Increases

Lots of new fees in the airline industry, limited only by the creativity of the folks coming up with them.  United, USAirways, Delta, and Northwest now have $25 fees for second checked bags, with various exemptions for various passengers. None of this is big news, it’s been written about ad naseum elsewhere.

I’ve offered detailed explanations of the economics and motivations behind tacking on fees rather than straightforwardly increasing prices. For example here, here, here, and here.

But a new Flyertalk thread yesterday shows Delta raising the ante to a new level.

CRC one-visit pass to go from $25 to $30
Unaccompanied Minor fee to go from $50 nonstop/$100 connecting to $100 for all
Pets in cabin fee from $75 to $100
Pets as checked luggage to go from $150 to $200
Curbside checked bags as per other threads ($3 vs. free, exemptions include medallions, premium cabin, etc.)
Oversize bag fee from $100 to $150, I believe as discussed elsewhere
Direct Ticketing Charge goes from $20 to $25
“ASC” for reissues, etc of non-refundable tix goes from $75 to $100 (only for tickets originally issued after 4/1)
Award ticket re-issues and redeposits go from $75 to $100, with PM waiver still in place

And the most “industry leading” revolutionary change
“Handling charge” for any award that includes a segment on another airline: $25

Many of the changes are detailed here.

The handling charge for including another airline in an itinerary (which in many cases must be done by phone, incurring a phone charge as well and precluding placing the award on hold prior to ticketing) is another example of how Delta Skymiles has become perhaps the least consumer-friendly and worthwhile mileage program of any major airline in the United States — displacing Continental to be sure.

Update: One Mile at a Time points out that – except for the charge for including a partner airline on an award – these fees are in line with what United charges for the same thing. They are still price increases to Delta customers, of course. But the really annoying one is, indeed, the new fee to use your miles.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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