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Unions Blast 'Blatantly Political' Suit Headed to SCOTUS

Supreme Court will look at whether all public employees have to pay 'fair share' fees

(Newser) - Teachers and other public employees are now eyeing the Supreme Court after it announced Thursday it will take on a case next summer that may have big repercussions for unions. The Los Angeles Times reports the high court will look at overruling the requirement that all public employees, not just... More »

Viking Ship on Epic Journey Hits $400K Snag

It's a good thing Leif Eriksson didn't run into the US Coast Guard

(Newser) - It was an epic journey that was to end with the world's largest Viking ship making a tour of the Great Lakes. Now the ship might have to make a U-turn. The Draken Harald Harfagre—which made stops in the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland while... More »

Guy Sends Airline a Merry Letter, Actually Gets What He Wants

Buffalo resident really wanted to see his baby niece

(Newser) - Alex Hamberger was flying the friendly skies this week to visit his infant niece several states away—a trip made friendlier after American Airlines dropped the change fee issued when he had to cancel his original flight, CNN reports. The Buffalo man has already managed to see his now-8-month-old niece,... More »

Cruise Company Charges Man Extra Because His Wife Died

They called it an $853 'rebooking fee'

(Newser) - In December, Colorado resident Tom Ast lost his wife of 45 years, Marilyn, to cancer, KDVR reports. On her death bed, Marilyn told Ast to go on the Mediterranean cruise they had planned before she became sick. He didn't want to at first but decided it would be a... More »

Spirit Air Doesn't Care You Hate All Its Extra Fees

Because people are booking lots of flights with cheap fares

(Newser) - "No one goes to Chick-fil-A and complains they can't get a burger. And people shouldn't come to Spirit if they want lots of legroom." That quote's source? Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza speaking to the Wall Street Journal , explaining that yes, there've been lots... More »

AT&T to Make $500M ... by Charging You 61 Cents

New administrative fee went into effect May 1

(Newser) - If you're an AT&T wireless customer, your May bill will feature a new charge: a 61-cent monthly administrative fee. Before you pooh-pooh it as small potatoes, consider this: The Wall Street Journal reports that the move could tally up to an extra $518 million for the company in... More »

Airlines Scored $22.1B in Add-on Fees Last Year

66% surge in just 2 years

(Newser) - Airlines are raking in enormous piles of cash from add-ons and fees. Last year in the US, the top six airlines made $12.4 billion in revenue for things other than the cost of a ticket, such as checking bags, re-booking penalties, WiFi connections, and selling frequent flier miles to... More »

Airline to Charge $35 for Carry-Ons

Allegiant follows lead of Spirit Airlines

(Newser) - Uh oh, travelers, this might be turning into a trend. Starting tomorrow, Allegiant Air will begin charging passengers up to $35 for their carry-on bags, MSNBC reports. Passengers can bring one carry-on aboard for free, but only if it can fit under the seat in front of them, the president... More »

Customers Not Happy About Verizon's New $2 Fee

Complaints flood Twitter

(Newser) - Will outraged consumers convince Verizon to backtrack on its newest fee , just as they did with Bank of America ? Perhaps: The New York Times notes that yesterday's announcement of the $2 fee, which will be levied against customers who make one-time bill payments using a credit or debit... More »

Verizon to Charge $2 for One-Off Payments

Subscribers get a new 'convenience fee'

(Newser) - For those complaining that their cellphone bill is just too darn cheap: Verizon Wireless, the country's largest cellphone company, is introducing a $2 fee for every payment subscribers make over the phone or online with their credit cards. The company says this "convenience fee" will be introduced Jan.... More »

BofA Offers More Ways Around $5 Debit Fee

$20K minimum balance isn't the only option

(Newser) - Turns out Bank of America customers won't have to maintain a $20,000 bank account to avoid monthly debit fees after all. With other banks canceling debit fee plans, BofA will now offer customers other means of avoiding its $5 monthly debit card payment —like having paychecks directly... More »

10 Tips for Ducking Flying Fees

Don't check luggage, don't select your seat, and BYO pillow

(Newser) - As if things weren't financially miserable enough, it's gradually becoming even more expensive to travel. Domestic airfare prices spiked 8% from last year, and airlines are pulling out every stop to eke out more revenue. Here are some steps you can take to avoid unnecessary flying fees, courtesy... More »

Student Protest Over UC Fee Hike Turns Violent

13 arrested, 15 pepper sprayed, officer conked on head with own baton

(Newser) - A 300-person strong protest against raising University of California fees got out of hand yesterday, and 13 people—mostly students—were arrested. The demonstration took place outside a UC regents meeting about the proposed increase in San Francisco. The UC San Francisco police chief called the crowd "angry and... More »

Ticketmaster: We Know, You Hate Our Fees

Company will be more up-front ... but not cheaper

(Newser) - Ticketmaster has finally acknowledged the seemingly obvious: that its service fees are annoying and cause some people to abandon the ticket-buying process entirely. In the company’s new blog , CEO Nathan Hubbard attributes the universal hatred of service fees to the fact that buyers “don’t understand what the... More »

Spirit Airlines Is First to Charge for Carry-Ons

It can cost up to $45 each way to store a bag overhead

(Newser) - Another first in airline fees: Spirit Airlines is going to charge for most carry-on bags. If it's bigger than 16” by 14” by 12”, prepare to pay $45 each way. USA Today surmises that the airline is the first in the US and perhaps the world to charge for carry-ons,... More »

American Airlines Will Charge $8 for a Blanket

Passengers must pony up to bundle up on long domestic flights

(Newser) - Bundle up, air travelers: Blankets cost extra now, too. American Airlines will begin charging coach passengers $8 for a blanket on long domestic flights and some international routes. On flights of 2 hours or less, no blankets will be available, no matter how much money you throw around. On the... More »

For $249 Annual Fee, United Will Waive Bag Charges

Fee covers two bags per flight, and up to 8 passengers booked at same time

(Newser) - Fly United frequently, or planning to use the airline for the next couple family vacations? For a $249 annual fee, United will waive fees for your first two checked bags—and it covers up to eight people traveling on the same booking. With a $20 charge for the first bag... More »

Debit Card Overdrafts Bring Banks Billions

Fees make credit card shopping look like the smarter thing to do

(Newser) - Debit card overdraft fees are helping to pay banks’ bills in the recession—and they're hitting customers hard, the New York Times reports. “Banks will let you overspend on your debit card in a way that is much, much more expensive than almost any credit card,” says an... More »

Southwest Adds $10 Fee to Board Early

Airline with no assigned seats starts charging for first dibs

(Newser) - Southwest Airlines doesn’t assign seats, but now it will start charging for the privilege of finding the best one, the Dallas Morning News reports. For an extra $10, the new “EarlyBird Check-in” allows passengers to board first, or at least right after the Business Select and Rapid Rewards... More »

Wall Street Rakes in $1B in Fees on AIG Breakup

Morgan Stanley set to pocket $250M in 'advisory services'

(Newser) - The crumbling of AIG forced taxpayers to take on 80% of the company, but breaking the insurance giant up is turning out to be a bonanza for lawyers and banks. The Wall Street Journal calculates that firms will pull in $1 billion in fees from AIG and the Fed—one... More »

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