The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics says airlines raked in $7.5 billion during 2017 from just two of the many fees flyers loathe: the charges for baggage and for making changes to airline tickets.

The fees are devious and expensive — but they're also avoidable, in many cases. Here's how to get around many of the worst travel surcharges.

1. 'Resort' fees

Romantic Couple Spa. Closeup Of Beautiful Healthy Happy Smiling Woman, Handsome Man Relaxing At Day Spa Resort.
puhhha / Shutterstock

Resort fees were originally charged by, well, resorts, supposedly to cover their extra amenities like towels at the pool and classes at the fitness center.

But the practice has become so widespread that an estimated 8% of hotels in cities are charging resort fees this year. The fees are rising, too: The average is now about $21 per night but can be as high as $160 a night.

You might dodge these charges by booking your room with hotel rewards points or a rewards credit card. Or, use a site such as to find hotels with low or no resort fees.

2. Baggage fees

Airport passenger
Adisa / Shutterstock

Whether you bring too many or pack them too heavily, your bags can attract a stack of airline fees.

Most airlines charge you to check luggage, and there can be additional fees for bags weighing more than 50 pounds and even for carry-ons. Several airlines charge $25 if you want to put a carry-on bag into the overhead bin.

Some carriers waive baggage fees for flyers who have the airline's co-branded credit card. You also can avoid bag fees by flying Southwest Airlines, the only U.S. airline that gives all ticket holders two free checked bags.

Page 1 / 9

Subscribing to MoneyWise Has Its Rewards

Hello! You’ve found us by way of our phenomenal lifestyle content, but did you know MoneyWise is best known for producing thoroughly researched personal finance content, written by the smartest personal finance writers in the industry?

If you subscribe to MoneyWise—for free—you’ll get unlimited, ad-free* access to all of our content (including this article) and you’ll receive a twice-weekly personal finance newsletter that makes you smarter about your money.

Return to article

*Subscribers must be logged in for display advertising to be disabled. Ad-free refers only to display advertising. Content on MoneyWise often contains affiliate offers. It would be impractical to remove these from content for subscribers. Furthermore, MoneyWise believes linked products and services add sincere value to the content. With that being said, please be aware articles may still contain affiliate offers. These offers will be clearly marked in line with our advertising guidelines.