Airline fees this Thanksgiving could buy 21 million turkeys

It’s time to talk turkey about hidden airline fees. Travelers United estimates  the enormous impact of these fees on travelers’ pocketbooks over the busy Thanksgiving travel period — a whopping $360 million, the equivalent of more than 21 million turkeys purchased at retail.

thanksgiving_turkeyFeathers are flying over rising airline fees, because Americans are justifiably angry that they can’t see the total costs of air travel, nor compare the price of different flights against one another. Airlines expect consumers to dig through thousands of words of gobble-gobbledygook to find even the most basic fees. It’s time to talk turkey and show consumers what their tickets will cost with all the fixings included.

According to the Travelers United analysis:

  • Americans will spend roughly $360 million on hidden ancillary fees for air travel over the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday travel period
  • The average 12-pound turkey will cost $17 this year
  • Hidden fees represent the equivalent of 21.3 million Thanksgiving turkeys, enough to give a free turkey to almost every household in the states of California and Texas

Travelers United has urged the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Congress to take action to protect consumer interests and ensure that all ancillary fees are made fully transparent through every booking channel in which each airline participates.

The estimate used 2015 data from the IdeaWorks Company study of money spent annually on ancillary fees. During the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday period this year, based on average fees, domestic travelers will spend $360 million. For the average price of Thanksgiving turkey, the analysis used 2016 data released by the American Farm Bureau Federation.