Report: Airlines working on new fees founder George Hobica explains


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, well, passenger fees are about to take flight yet again, airlines reportedly talking of new ways to charge flyers more.

To Airfarewatchdog's George Hobica on people prepare to pay and where they're going to have to pay up.

Explain what is going on here.

GEORGE HOBICA, FOUNDER, AIRFAREWATCHDOG.COM: Well, Neil, airlines are being encouraged by consultants, fee consultants to package fees in advance of a flight.

For example, you may be encouraged to buy packages of food or insurance, sometimes based on previous behavior on the airline's web site. You know how when you go on airline, on any kind of Web site, and you see an ad for something you searched for a week ago?

CAVUTO: Right.

HOBICA: So the airlines know your behavior, like if you buy insurance. So they may offer the insurance up front.

And I think we will see some new fees that we have never imagined before, like using a credit card. One airline, Allegiant airlines, which is growing and very profitable, good for them, is charging -- or actually giving you a discount if you use a debit card or pay in cash, vs. using a credit card.

CAVUTO: So, in the end, with some of these new restrictions and clarifications, that is what the airlines are kind of calling it, you could end up paying a lot more in fees. How do you avoid some of the more obvious fees?

I know if you print out a boarding pass at any kiosk, that's taboo. I guess you got to do that from home. Is that the gist?

HOBICA: Well, yes.

Spirit Airlines, Neil, is now you to print out a boarding pass at the airport. Ryanair in the U.K. charges I think $60, the equivalent of $60, to print out a boarding pass at the airport. I think what we are going to see, Neil, is more airlines enforcing do-it-yourself procedures.

For example, printing your boarding pass yourself at the airport -- you plug in your destination, you get the boarding pass, you put it on your own bag, you bring it to the conveyor belt. You will also see do it yourself at the jetway. In other words, you will actually scan your boarding pass to get on to the plane. And I think what we will see, Neil, is eventually to...


CAVUTO: What is next? I guess I just have fly the plane, right?

HOBICA: Yes. Well, I think...


HOBICA: I think you will actually pay to talk to an agent at the airport. I think that is where it is going.

You already pay to talk to an agent on the phone if you make a reservation.


HOBICA: I think that they will really charge you to deal with an agent and -- at the airport.

And let's face it. The airlines are finally making money, but they have been behind the eight ball for so many years, and they are not playing on the same playing field that autos or banking.

CAVUTO: True. True.

HOBICA: For example, Delta -- we just read in The Wall Street Journal wants to buy, Singapore Airlines, 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic. Why can't buy 100 percent?

CAVUTO: All right, well, it is a mess.

George, thank you very much.

HOBICA: Thank you.

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