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The Suburbanite
  • Travel perks come with a price

  • Here’s what to expect at regional airports
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  • Whether it's a lunch meeting in Chicago or a month stay in Shanghai, business travel can be exhausting.
    And for CEOs and salesmen alike, its often unavoidable.
    Thankfully, there are ways to make travel a bit more bearable. Expedited security lanes, like TSA's Pre-Check program, can help hurried travelers zoom through security with carry-on bags still packed. With priority boarding, you can avoid the annoying cattle call and whisk past pushy tourists crowding the gate. And bonuses like in-flight WiFi allow you to catch up on work — or on Netflix — while in the air.
    But like all good things, travel perks come with a price.
    We've broken down the cost of air travel, beyond just ticket price, to give you an idea of what traveling in style, or at least minimal comfort, might cost.
    Parking Fees
    Unless you can secure a ride or spring for a taxi, parking and flying go hand-in-hand.
    If you want to park close to the terminal — a worthy request in frigid Ohio winters — it's going to cost you, as proximity and price are directly related.
    Here's what to expect at regional airports.
    Akron-Canton Airport: $1 per 30 minutes at all lots.
    Daily parking ranges from $6 per day at the economy lot to $15 at short-term parking.
    Both long-term lots and the economy lot offer weekly parking from $36 to $60.
    Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport: Daily parking ranges from $8 at the blue lot (formerly the economy shuttle lot) to $11.50 at the red lot.
    The new CLE Smart Parking Garage, formerly the airport's long-term garage, charges $14 for less than 72 hours and $10 for 72-hours or longer.
    Off-site parking, with shuttle service, can be found for about $8 per day.
    Pittsburgh International Airport: $1 for the first hour, $3 for each additional hour, at both the short-term and long-term lot.
    Daily parking ranges from $8 at the extended lot to $24 at the short-term lot.
    The airport offers valet parking for $25.99 per day, with the option to add-on services like an oil change ($26.99 plus parts and oil), wash ($19.99) or complete detailing ($199.99 to $269.99).
    Airline Fees
    Want a seat with enough room to exhale? That's going to cost you. Checked bag? You guessed it.
    We looked at airlines that fly out of our regional airports — CAK, CLE and PIT. Our breakdown doesn't include freebies for frequent flyers or cardholders, a common scenario for habitual business travelers.
    American/American Eagle
    Checked bag: $25
    Premium seating: $8-$159
    Priority boarding: $9
    Page 2 of 3 - In-flight WiFi: N/A
    AirTran
    Checked bag: $25
    Premium seating: $12-$20
    Priority boarding: $10
    In-flight WiFi: $1.95 and up
    Delta/Delta Connection
    Checked bag: $25
    Premium seating: $9-$99
    Priority boarding: $9
    In-flight WiFi: $4.99 to $14
    Frontier Airlines
    Checked bag: $25
    Premium seating: $15 and up
    Priority boarding: $15 and up (part of premium seating)
    In-flight WiFi: $4.95
    Frontier also charges $25 for a carry-on bag and $100 for any bags checked at the gate
    JetBlue
    Checked bag: Free
    Premium seating: $10-$65
    Priority boarding: $10-$65 (included with premium seating)
    In-flight WiFi: N/A
    Southwest Airlines
    Checked bag: Free
    Premium seating: Not available
    Priority boarding: $12.50 to $40
    In-flight WiFi: $8
    United/United Express
    Checked bag: $25
    Premium seating: $9 and up
    Priority boarding: $9 and up (includes dedicated airport check-in and security lanes at some airports)
    In-flight WiFi: $7 to $17.95
    US Airways/US Airways Express
    Checked bag: $25
    Premium seating: $5-$99 (purchased at booking)
    Priority boarding: $5-$99 (part of Choice seating)
    In-flight WiFi: $4.95 and up
    Source: NerdWallet.com
    Speedy Security
    If you spend a lot of time queued up for the full-body scanner, it might be worth investing in an expedited screening program.
    The Transportation Security Administration has spent the last several years rolling out its PreCheck program, which allows preapproved travelers to use expedited security lanes.
    PreCheck fliers can keep on their shoes, jackets and belts and can keep liquids and laptops inside carry-on bags. The goal is make travel faster and easier.
    Akron-Canton airport debuted its PreCheck lanes last month. It's also available at CLE and PIT.
    Like everything else, if you want to play, you have to pay. There's a few ways to take advantage of the program.
    Global Entry: $100 for five years.
    The U.S. Custom and Border Protection's Global Entry program is designed for frequent international travelers. Similar to a passport, you'll pay $100 when you apply and you'll be eligible for expedited screening for five years. It has a higher up-front cost, but if you're in the air often, it might be worth the investment.
    TSA PreCheck: $85 for five years.
    Page 3 of 3 - Next year, TSA will roll out its own enrollment program. Like Global Check, you'll pay when you apply and you're eligible for five years.
    Frequent Flyer: Free.
    Airlines can send invites to their frequent flyers to join an airline-specific expedited screening program. If you accept, you won't pay any extra, but you'll only be eligible for fast screening when you're flying with that airline.
    In other words, if you're approved through Delta but you're flying American, you might want to wear slip-on shoes.