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Most Annoying Travel Fees

Most Annoying Travel Fees: Award Ticket Fees

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Award Ticket Fees

After you’ve spent years building up a mileage balance for a free seat to Europe, it can come as a shock to be charged an award-processing fee. Add to that airport taxes, fuel surcharges, and security taxes, and the final total on a so-called “free flight” can easily reach three figures. Any kind of change also incurs fees in most frequent-flier programs ($75–$150 on major carriers). And canceling your “free” ticket will cost you if you want to get the miles redeposited into your account ($150 on major carriers).

Tip: Plan ahead when booking award travel to minimize fees (some airlines charge a $75 rush fee on award seats booked fewer than 21 days before departure). The further out you book, the easier it will be to use the airlines’ online award booking option, saving you from paying for help from a reservation agent.

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