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Are "low" airline fares actually still a ripoff?

Are "low" airline fares actually still a ripoff?
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Frontier, Allegiant, Delta and United Airlines - what do these companies all have in common? They're fighting for your business each time you travel, trying to get you to board their airplanes.

To do this, these companies come up with different pricing brackets to fill more seats. First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, Economy standard, and even Basic Economy - all of these different price points make the process of booking confusing. But what you might not realize is that no matter which bracket you choose, there are extra fees that can come back to bite you.

Last-minute ticket sales

You've probably heard that waiting until the last-minute can save you big money on flights. But that's not the case. In fact, the opposite is true. Airlines make more money by selling even 20 percent of the remaining seats at a higher cost than they do by selling each ticket at a discounted rate.

Tip within a tip: Wondering if you've overpaid on your ticket price? Click here for a secret formula airlines don't want you to know about airfares

Carry-on bags

Late last year, United Airlines announced it would begin charging Basic Economy ticket holders if they wanted to put their carry-on bags up in the overhead bin.

Basic Economy, which is only available for select routes, is meant to attract travelers who want to save money. However, there are little to no perks that come with it. You can't choose your seat or change your ticket after it's been purchased. If you cancel your trip, you won't get a refund. And, checked bags still cost $25. If the bag you've planned to carry on board with you can't fit under your seat or on your lap, you'll be charged an additional $25 gate handling fee to check your bag into the plane's luggage compartment.

Spirit and Allegiant airlines also charge passengers for carry-on luggage.

Next page: Checked bags and other hidden fees
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