The ancillary fee circus is coming to town!

Mention the word “ancillary fees” to someone like John Cashman, and I can promise you his eyes will glaze over. Yours too?

They shouldn’t.
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Do travel companies charge too many junk fees?

Stoon/Shutterstock
Stoon/Shutterstock
Susan Jay regrets picking up the phone to make a call from Harrah’s Atlantic City. But she says she had no choice. Her cell phone wasn’t getting a clear signal.

When Jay checked out, she discovered three unexpected charges — one for $26 and two for $45.

Yep, you guessed it. Harrah’s charged her about $5 a minute for the phone calls, an unconscionable markup.

“After a heated discussion with the billing department, they removed the five-minute call for $26,” she says. But that left her with a $90 bill. And the casino wouldn’t budge.

“It’s not enough,” she says.
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Have hotels taken their fees too far?

money2How do you know if hotels have gone too far with fees? When Jay Sorensen complains about them.

Sorensen runs a Shorewood, Wis., consulting firm focused on helping travel companies generate money through surcharges and is a self-described “fee advocate.” But on a recent hotel stay in the Azores, he needed his shirts and pants pressed. A hotel clerk assured him that it could be done the same day.
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Amtrak takes a page from airlines, raises luggage fees

Amtrak is raising its luggage fees on Sept. 10, the national rail carrier disclosed on its website today.
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When revenue-hungry airlines play “chicken” with passengers

Editor’s Note: Today we join with thousands of other websites to protest two dangerous bills that are flying through Congress and threaten your freedom of expression online. Please do your part to stop censorship by contacting your elected representative.

Here’s a decision most of us will have to make the next time we fly: Should you splurge for a “premium” seat in economy class — an aisle or a window seat — or leave it to chance, and possibly end up in a middle seat?

It happened to Fred Thompson on a recent Delta Air Lines flight from New York to Detroit. “The Delta website would not let me choose a seat when I booked the ticket four weeks early,” he says. “The day before my flight, I still could not pick a seat. All the economy seats were taken and the only available seats were fee-based with prices ranging from $9 to $29.”
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