Hidden travel fees and how to avoid them

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The days are gone when buying a flight or a hotel stay meant you’d purchased the full experience.

Having been lured in by that attractive basic fare, you can be stung for everything from inflight headset rental to a $6 bottle of water in your suite.

It’s time to take charge, says consumer behavior expert Jen Drexler. “You can no longer just show up at the airport, get on whatever seat was chosen for you, show up at any hotel that was chosen for you.

“You still have to be a really aggressive consumer.”

Ancillary airline fees

By one estimate, global airlines raked in more than $59 billion in fees in 2015.

And while the trend for ancillary fees began with low-cost carriers, full-service airlines have followed suit.

“I think one of the worst ones is the change fees,” says George Hobica, president of airfarewatchdog.com. In North America, “it used to cost nothing to change a ticket or a…

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