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$5 for a Boarding Pass? Airline Says Print or Pay

SmarterTravel

Just when you thought the airlines’ relentless fee-mongering had reached its peak, yet another airline figures out yet another way to charge flyers for yet another service once considered basic.

This time, the target is your boarding pass.

Here’s the announcement, from Las Vegas-based Allegiant:

For travel starting September 1, 2014, a $5 per boarding pass fee will apply to passengers who choose to have a boarding pass printed out at select domestic airport locations. To avoid this charge, passengers may check in online and bring a printed paper boarding pass to the airport, or use the Allegiant2Go mobile boarding pass. Please note, this charge does not apply to passengers who are unable to check-in online or via the mobile app dues to Allegiant system restrictions, passengers with disabilities or traveling with special service requests, such as service animals, cabin pets, and passengers traveling out of non-participating airports.

Allegiant is among the only carriers worldwide charging for a printed boarding pass. Among U.S. carriers, yes, Spirit charges extra for a boarding pass. But so far, they’ve been alone in doing so. Making matters worse, Allegiant hasn’t done a good job of communicating the fee — it’s shuffled in among a long list of “Optional Services & Fees.” So the new policy is bound to take many Allegiant customers by surprise, when they arrive at the airport and it’s too late to print out their passes. And if that weren’t nasty enough, it’s being implemented on Labor Day, one of the heaviest travel days of the year.

Proving, once again, that no matter how low it gets, the bar can still be lowered further.

Reader Reality Check

What’s the most egregious airline fee you’ve ever paid (or refused to pay)?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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