Just when you think you understand most of the fees added to airfares and feel safe purchasing a ticket, the airlines may once again throw you a curve ball. With fuel prices reaching $100 per barrel, a new strategy to pay for the rising costs may be in our future.
In the last several months, we've seen multiple carriers tack on extra fuel surcharges to help combat high oil prices, but now airlines may start charging separately for that cost.
Since most passengers purchase tickets months in advance, airlines can't predict what the cost of fuel will be when that passenger actually flies. As reported by Reuters, carriers may try to unbundle fuel surcharges from fares, only to later charge passengers on the day they fly.
What this could potentially mean for us as passengers is that we'll never actually know the total cost of a ticket until the day we fly, because final prices will depend on the price of oil.
At this time, no carriers have adopted the new strategy. But if oil prices continue to rise, don't be surprised if you get charged extra fees before you board.