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That'll Be Extra

Fees, fees and more fees--don't pay what you don't have to.

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This story appears in the December 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

To attract more customers, travel companies have aggressively cut their rates. But what's not included in those prices? You'd be surprised. , a hospitality industry analyst for PKF Consulting in Atlanta, says companies used to think of extra fees as "found money," and were willing to waive them. "Now they're counting on them." Here's what you can expect-and avoid:

  • Airlines: Security fees and fuel surcharges are nonnegotiable. But carriers are also clamping down on that kindly ticket agent who looks the other way when you incur a $100 fee for a ticket change.

How to steer clear: Flaunt your frequent-flier status. Airline employees would sooner work the red-eye than lose you as a customer.

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