Paying for an Airline Ticket Can Take a While.

In June, I’m treating my daughter and granddaughter to a ride on the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle. It will be just as much of a treat for me, of course. At any rate, after a few days in Seattle, I’ll fly home and the two of them will take Amtrak up to Vancouver to spend a few days with my daughter’s in-laws. She married a Canadian, you see.

Anyway, bringing them home to Maui after our train ride is part of my deal with the two girls, so yesterday I was on the phone with WestJet, the Canadian airline that has daily flights here from Vancouver.

Here’s a summary of the cost for the one-way flight for one adult and one child from Vancouver to Maui. These are the itemized charges quoted exactly (in Canadian dollars) from the email I got from WestJet:

Basic air fare – $734 
other air transportation charges – $15  
other air transportation charges – $40  
air travelers security charge – $51.82  
goods and services tax – $2  
APHIS user fee [I have no idea what this could be] – $11.48 
Customs user fee – $12.64 
Transportation tax (international) – $40.22 
Immigration user fee – $16.08
Total: $923.24

Let me summarize:  Cost of tickets: $734; taxes and fees: $189.42

Well, of course I couldn’t resist commenting to the WestJet lady that taxes and fees amounted to more than 25% of the cost. She was very nice and sympathetic throughout the conversation and I thanked her for that.

Then just as I was about to hang up, I remembered: “Oh, wait, I forgot to get seat assignments for the two girls.”
I don’t even have to tell you, do I? Yep … there was a fee for that.