American Raises Phone Booking Fee to $25

Posted Mar 9th 2011 12:30 PM


American Airlines has raised its fee for tickets booked by telephone from $20 to $25, effectively matching the fee charged by most of its rival carriers, AOL Travel News has learned.

The phone fee increase, which took effect yesterday, is the latest move by a major airline to boost back-end revenue amid soaring jet fuel prices, which is one of the biggest operating costs for commercial carriers.

"It's one of those things we were looking at and saying, 'wait a minute, why are we the odd man out,'" says Ed Martelle, spokesman for American.

The increased fee applies to passengers who need to call the American reservations number to book flights, as opposed to booking through the American Airlines website.

American joined other airlines in raising fares in recent weeks as the price of crude oil surged above $100 a barrel. Next to labor, jet fuel is one of the biggest costs for commercial airlines.

Last week, American reported a 2.2% increase in revenue passenger miles for February, compared with the same time period last year. The figures show that higher fares have not yet hurt passenger demand, but analysts have warned that passengers will eventually resist higher fares, which is one of the reasons airlines are imposing new fees for "ancillary" services.

Capacity, as measured by available seat miles, rose 3.1% compared with a year ago, however load factors, or the percentage of full planes fell slightly to 75.3% from 75.8%.

United and Delta Air Lines officials were not immediately available for comment.

US Airways charges a $25 fee for telephone reservations and there is no fee for making a reservation through its website.

Last week JetBlue raised fees for its Even More Legroom seats and for a second piece of checked luggage.

Last month, American was fined $90,000 by the Department of Transportation on Feb. 28 after an investigation showed they failed to disclose a $30 fee to passengers when they gave up their seats on overbooked flights.

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Larry W. Bruce

$25 to book a flight over the phone is totally rediculous. You should be more than happy to get our business. With $40 baggage fees, $25 phone fees, taxes, surcharges and travel insurance, a customer has spent hundreds in extras before getting off the ground. And then you question why the passengers don't like to fly or why we get upset when our flights are delayed or you lose our luggage ? ? ? Really ? ? ?

March 10 2011 at 8:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I don't care about fee's like that, it was already a 20 dollar fee anyway. What really needs to be enforced and strictly, I might add, are the over weight people fees. I'm so damn sick of being smushed in a seat, unable to move, because the person next to me is so overweight. And they also might consider "hygiene" fee's as well. If you haven't taken a shower, you're charged an extra 20 so they can shower you prior to your flight.

March 10 2011 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I suspect the airlines will probably add a $20-25.00 aisle fee to our fares since we all have to use this portion of the plane.

March 10 2011 at 6:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Another example of "capitalism gone nuts!"

March 10 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Another example of "capitalism gone nuts!"

March 10 2011 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Beth's comment
Alfred Schrader

Another example of nutz going over to capitalism

March 10 2011 at 8:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

just a tax against seniors who are the least able to book on line.

March 10 2011 at 1:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

With gas prices soaring, airline costs are not the only thing that will go, hard goods, services, etc. Get you money ready for the big change Obama promised.

March 10 2011 at 12:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Whats next.. A $ 25.00 fee if you talk to the flight person, $15.00 fee if you talk to the person in the row behind or next to you

March 10 2011 at 11:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Just another perfect example why I don't fly...EVER!

March 10 2011 at 9:22 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Thats why we dont fly delta airways. (SCABair)

March 10 2011 at 8:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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