July 23, 2007

Hidden Costs of Air Travel

I bought some batteries, but they weren't included - so I had to buy them again --- Stephen Wright
Hidden costs are annoying. The "nickeling and diming" can really add up. We know that most prices in Canada are subject to Goods & Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST). We're used to that.

Airline Tickets
Some prices have unexpected add-ons. Take airline tickets. I normally use a travel agent when travelling on business or internationally on vacation. So I focus on the total price, not the components. Next month, we're vacationing in Banff. So we decided to book online through aircanada.com. The process is simple and easy --- almost enjoyable.

The surprise came at the end. Each ticket had the following unexpected charges
  • $46.00 for Navcan and Surcharges (no further breakdown)
  • $40.00 for an Airport Improvement Fee
  • $9.34 for a Security Charge
That's $95.34. Add $32 for GST and the total is $127.34 per ticket. The disclosure is good, except for "Surcharges", but the total was unexpected.

My wife says "That's not right" and my son asks "What're you gonna do about it?"

Be thankful there's no PST ;)
Did you know ...
Life insurance premiums already include provincial premium tax (which varies from 2% in most provinces to 4% in Newfoundland). There's no GST or regular PST.


Thicken My Wallet said...

wait until you have to pay the tourism levy on the hotel bill!

Promod said...

I can wait :)

I'm wondering about the car rental. There may be extra charges for using an airport location. The reservation is a tad ambiguous.