The rise of airline nuisance fees, and how to fight them

Vytautas Kielaitis /

Margaret Waldman’s surprise airline “refund fee” is a mystery. Solving it could be a bad sign for all of us.

Waldman, a retired writer who lives in Oakland, Calif., decided to cancel a recent flight to Spain, which should have been no problem. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has a 24-hour rule that says most tickets have to be refunded if you notify the airline within a day.

Fully refunded.

Instead, Iberia charged Waldman a $25 fee.
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