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Comparing Other Optional Service Fees

Airlines charge extra for services including priority boarding and travel arrangements for unaccompanied minors. The fees listed here apply to passengers traveling on domestic flights in the lowest fare class. Some are waived for passengers in higher fare classes and/or frequent flyers who have reached a certain status in an airline's loyalty program. Unaccompanied minor services are generally available for children between 5 and 17 but may not be required for ages 12 to 17. They are assessed each way and usually limited to nonstop or direct flights. Preferred seats may include aisle and window seats toward the front of the plane, bulkhead seats, and/or emergency-exit-row seats. Premium coach seating generally constitutes extra legroom and priority boarding. Most airlines still offer complimentary soft drinks, juice, coffee, and tea (and sometimes a snack, as well), but a few have started charging even for nonalcoholic drinks. To keep up with these ever-changing fees and see additional charges, click through to the airlines' websites.

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Ticketing
Unaccompanied Minors
Seat Selection/Preferred Seating
Premium Seating
Priority Boarding
Nonalcoholic Drinks
Alaska
$15 by phone
$25 nonstop/direct; $50 connecting
$0
$15-$50
N/A
$0
Allegiant
$15/segment by phone; $5 to print boarding pass at airport
N/A
$0-$80
N/A
$4-$12
$2
American
$25 by phone; $35 in person
$150
$0; $4-$139 for preferred
$20-$195 for Main Cabin Extra
$15-$40; included with Main Cabin Extra
$0
Delta
$25 by phone; $35 in person
$150
$0; $9 and up for preferred
$9 and up for Comfort Plus
$10; included with Comfort Plus
$0*
Frontier
$10 by phone
$100
$4 and up for standard seats; $8 and up for Select seats
$15-$100 for Stretch seating
Included with Stretch (Zone 1), Select (Zone 2), and Classic Plus tickets
$2
JetBlue
$25 by phone or in person
$100
$0
$10 and up for Even More Space
Included with Even More Space
$0*
Southwest
$0
$50
N/A (no assigned seats)
N/A
$12.50 for EarlyBird Check-In; $40 for guaranteed Group A**
$0*
Spirit
$15 by phone; $8.99 or $17.99 Passenger Usage Fee (each way, except at airport); $2 Unintended Consequences of DOT Regulations Fee (each way); $2 at kiosk or $10 at counter to print boarding pass at airport
$100
$1-$50
$12-$199 for Big Front Seat
N/A
$2-$3
United
$25 by phone; $30 in person
$150
$0
$9 and up for Economy Plus
Starting at $9/segment for Premier Access; included with Economy Plus
$0
US Airways
$25 by phone; $35 at airport
$150
$0
$15-$99 for ChoiceSeats
$10 for PreferredAccess; included with ChoiceSeats
$0
Virgin America
$20 by phone
$75-$125
$0; $30 for Express seats
$39-$179 for Main Cabin Select
Included with preferred/premium seating options
$0-$3

* Includes snack

** Southwest boards by group based on check-in order.

In this review:
  1. Airline Fees Guide
  2. Baggage Fees
  3. Change and Cancellation Fees
  4. Priority Boarding and Other Charges


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