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Booking a ticket on an airline website these days is a little like finding your way through an ever-changing online thicket in which new obstacles pop up a la the maze in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
The major reasons for this are that airline strategies for ancillaries continue to evolve, as do the ways they display — and sometimes price — those fees on their websites.
Ancillary fees started out as a Hail Mary pass that American Airlines threw five years ago in the face of soaring fuel costs. American announced baggage fees, which had been tried before but had never stuck, but it did so before it had systems for processing and collecting those fees.