In this recessionary economy getting from one coast to another in comfort, and staying on a budget, isn’t easy. As gas prices continue to rise, U.S. airlines are tacking on fees and raising existing prices wherever they can. That is why it is a good idea to know how much petty cash you’re going to need while you’re sitting in coach just in case you would like to enjoy a Budweiser (BUD) in flight or in some cases, a water.
The good news is there are still some ways to save. For instance, bringing your own headphones on a Delta (DAL) flight saves you two bucks. Here is MainStreet's guide to how some of the top U.S. airlines add up in terms on additional costs. (The "tab for two" is the approximate amount a couple traveling with two bags should bring if they want to eat a meal, with one partner ordering an alcoholic beverage, and then to enjoy some in-flight entertainment (with their own headphones, natch).
In-Flight Entertainment: Delta provides complimentary movies, OnDemand channels, and music for guests with their own headphones. For those without, headphones can be purchased in air for $2.
Beverages: Non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary. Alcoholic drinks, which include beer, wine and cocktails, cost $5 or $6.
Snacks and Food: On flights longer that one hour, guests receive a complimentary item from the Snack Basket which includes, cookies, peanuts, and crackers. On flights longer than an hour and a half, guests can purchase items from the EATS All Day Goodies. These items include Dove chocolate bars, Emerald’s nuts, Pringles, or vitaminwater for $3, peanut M&M’s, and Clif Mojo Bars for $2, and animal crackers for $1. On flights longer than a two hours, guests can purchase items from the EATS menu in addition to the EATS All Day Goodies. The EATS menu offers fruit and cheese for $6, a smoked turkey sandwich for $7, a strawberry cheese Crepe for $4, a fried chicken sandwich for $8, a grilled shrimp Caesar salad for $10, and a mushroom pea orzo for $8.
Checked Luggage Fee: Free for the first bag, $25 for a second bag.
TAB FOR TWO: $46 ($21 in cash, the bag fee can be charged.)