I knew the flight was going to be a long one — I was headed to Romania, with a brief stop in Amsterdam — but still, I dithered. Did I want to fork out an extra $50, on top of the already steep plane ticket fare, for more legroom and a more reclining seat?

I have short legs (I’m 5 feet 2). This seemed like a luxury. (Like an overseas trip wasn’t already a luxury.)

I compromised with myself: Instead of paying extra to check a bag, I’d schlep my bag and pay extra for legroom on the flight over. I would not pay extra for legroom on the flight home, but would endure.

(On the flight home: regrets.)

Apparently a lot of you agree with me, according to a new survey released last month by the American Travel Association.

The survey finds that we are both annoyed at having to pay extra fees, and willing to pay them — if we can see clear benefits.

“Travelers remain frustrated by ticket add-ons from which they derive little benefit, such as bag and change fees,” the results state.

Still, “six out of 10 travelers would welcome user fees dedicated to improving efficiency and choice.”

The numbers showed a majority (62 percent) frustrated with air travel in general; a lesser majority (58 percent) willing to pay up to $4 per ticket to fund airport improvement projects that would reduce delays and other chronic problems; and a hefty majority (72.5 percent) maintaining that having fewer airlines (in light of all the mergers) has not proved to be a good thing.

Fees for simple services such as changing a flight, checking a bag or getting a good seat, drive us a little nuts. Though getting squashed in an inside seat with no legroom on a 12-hour flight from Bucharest to Minneapolis probably drove me even nuttier.


Senior editor/books


Travel editor Kerri Westenberg is on vacation.