Irked by airline baggage fees

DEAR HARRY: We have two children. Our son lives in Chicago, and our daughter (a recent widow) lives in St. Louis. We recently retired, and we intend to do a lot of traveling to visit. In my last business trip, I went with one of the "cheapy" airlines that had the lowest fare. Imagine how I felt when I discovered that I owed another $200 to check two bags! That's not a typo - the charge was $90 for the first bag and $110 for the second. You can be sure I'll never get hooked that way again. Do you have any suggestions?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Most ofcoursely. Be sure to get a credit card that gives you the best free mileage for the airline you intend to use. Because you're retired, go for the lowest fares even if the times are not the most suitable. Use the Internet instead of the telephone to make reservations. You could save as much as $35 per ticket this way. When you compare costs, don't lose sight of those baggage fees you got hooked on as well as other "nickel-and-dime" charges. Southwest and JetBlue do well with free checking of one or two bags. Also check out the seat configuration of the plane, so that you're not just another sardine in the can. I wonder if these greedy birds will start charging for visits to toilets. Good luck!


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