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Tuesday, September 30, 2014         

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Bag fees most hated airline charges

By McClatchy News Services

POSTED:



The world's airlines collect more than $27 billion in passenger fees per year, according to one estimate, but the most hated are baggage fees.

That was the conclusion of a survey by the travel website Airfarewatchdog.com, which polled more than 6,100 travelers on the topic of "the Worst Major Airline Fees."

When asked to name the fee they hate the most, 48 percent of website visitors named baggage fees, 38 percent said flight change or cancellation fees, 6 percent said advance seat selection fees and 5 percent said they hate reservation-by-phone fees.

Airlines charge $15 to $25 to check a first bag, with charges that can top $100 for oversize luggage.

"It's the most annoying fee because most people can't avoid them," said George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.

High interest in travel to Colorado

Colorado became the nation's first state to permit the sale of recreational marijuana, starting Jan. 1.

Since then, interest in travel to Denver has soared.

A data research company found that searches for airline travel deals to Denver have been outpacing searches for all other U.S. destinations, with a big surge starting Jan. 1.

The study by Hopper Research in Boston found that interest in travel to Denver climbed 6.3 percent above the national average in December and jumped 14 percent in the first week in January. The study looked at billions of travel queries through online travel sites and bricks-and-mortar travel companies.

The interest in traveling to Colo­rado has been higher in some cities than others. The biggest increase came from Nashville, Tenn. (63 percent increase), Minneapolis (58 percent), Detroit (53 percent) and Cincinnati (47 percent), according to the study.

Patrick Surry, Hopper's chief data scientist, said it may not be a coincidence that some of the cities with the biggest increases in travel searches to Denver have strict drug laws.

"We can't say the intentions of the people looking for those flights," he said. "But this suggests that it might be a reaction to the demand" for marijuana.

--Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times






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