US Airways To Charge $25 For Checking 2 Bags

If you find yourself identifying with those dames in movies set in the 19th century who always travel with a stagecoach full of steamer trunks, you won’t like US Airways new policy. Starting May 5, US Airways will levy a $25 fee against passengers checking a second bag. United Airlines announced the same thing earlier this month, and is also starting the fee on May 5. We can expect to see more and more of these fees as airlines struggle to make money, making it even harder to comparison shop for tickets. As Upgrade: Travel Better notes, no airfare search engine is equipped to take add-on fees into account (hello, market opportunity somebody?). Inside, the email US Airways sent out to its passengers.

usairways2ndbag.jpg(Photo: Getty)

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  1. Falconfire says:

    Maybe if the Airlines stopped paying their CEOs and CFOs millions for ineffectual work and incompetence, they wouldnt have to struggle to make money.

  2. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    As long as it translates into lower fares, maybe it’s not so bad…

    Haha, airlines passing on savings to customers, I made a funneh.

  3. Chols says:

    They should offer a $25 discount to passengers with only one checked bag. That would be smart marketing.

  4. witeowl says:

    I predict that the primary accomplishment of this policy will be that people will try to carry on more and more crap to avoid the $25 fee. Carry-ons are already out of control.

  5. cindel says:

    I go this email; as long as I can check in one bag, I’m cool with it. However they do need to do something about the carry on situation.

  6. johnva says:

    This is especially annoying if you’re traveling with some sort of sports equipment (like skis, golf clubs, or fly fishing rod). Since these things are carried in their own case, you’re pretty much forced to pay the fee if you can’t fit everything else you’re bringing in a carry-on or something.

    U.S. Airways is the worst big American airline.

  7. facted says:

    I applaud the airlines for looking towards some of the best airlines in the world (like RyanAir and easyJet) for ideas on how to cut costs, but that’s not really what they’re doing. Low-fare european airlines charge for baggage because their fares are ridiculously low. They reason that if people want to bring any bags on (and others don’t), then why punish those who aren’t bringing any bags by making them pay extra.

    However, I highly doubt that US Airways is going to announce a $25 price-cut on tickets to coincide with the extra $25 for the second bag (thereby offering a discount to those who aren’t bringing a second bag on board).

    This is just another way that airlines are fleecing their customers instead of cutting costs.

  8. facted says:

    @johnva: Not sure for US Airways, but some airlines allow you to bring your skis on board for no extra charge (in essence you’re allowed your regular baggage and a ski bag).

  9. Eh, I don’t think this will really work. They try to institute a fee, which for most people, can be bypassed by using one large suitcase rather than two medium. Instead this fee will be put upon people with kids and special needs (like carrying hiking/sporting/musical equipment). What really gets to me is that they are basing it on the *number* of bags taken, not the weight (which they already charge for).

    Also, I’ve been on a number of flights that get delayed because they are trying to sort of weight distribution. Good luck trying to get there with a bunch of jumbo bags, rather than more medium szed bags.

  10. gilman says:

    @HRHKingFriday:

    Jumbo bags won’t work since they charge $50 for oversize bags.

    Pretty soon they’ll be weighing us and charging money if you weigh more than the ideal body weight.

  11. johnva says:

    @facted: If you look at the “questions and answers”, they specifically say that skis and golf clubs count as one of the two checked bags that they charge extra for. Yet another reason not to fly U.S. Air instead of some other airline (the fact that their flight schedule from where I live is essentially a work of fiction is another).

  12. mike says:

    @Chols: This. Genius.

    It’s always better to offer a discount than it is to tack on an additional fee.

  13. johnva says:

    @gilman: At least weighing people would be “fair” given that their announcement specifically mentions “fuel consumption” as a major reason for the policy.

  14. Murph1908 says:

    @sohmc:
    Not genius.

    Smart consumers see the scam.

    Also, the airline will never risk being $25 higher than the other airlines so they can implement this ‘saving feature’ for some customers. They’d rather you buy the ticket at the lower fare, then get hit with the add-ons.

  15. esqdork says:

    At some point, the benefit of shipping bags by FedEx will outweigh the marginal cost difference between FedEx and paying airlines for the opportunity to have the property in my bags stolen and broken by the knuckleheads who handle the luggage.

  16. lovelygirl says:

    Many people cannot utilize the carry-on only rule. For example, my family is from Jamaica. When my mother goes to visit my grandma and uncles, she brings a lot of things with her. This is the same with any other family from the Caribbean. In Jamaica, they have everything that the US has. It’s just far far more expensive. So my mother will bring down things for them– little things like hand lotions, small toys for the poor children at church, special snacks, batteries, etc. Like I said before, many many people are in the same situation as my family. You cannot possibly utilize just a carry-on. Especially with the value of the dollar these days, you want to be careful and if you can save money by shopping for your trip over time, instead of buying once you get there, that’s the best thing to do. Also, it may be difficult to buy a lot of things at your destination. People could be going to a remote destination and going to a store to buy themselves toothpaste could be a difficulty. This is also something that I know to be true from personal experience. Or it doesn’t have to be a remote area, it could just be that you don’t have the ability to go all over the area looking for shampoo.

  17. sleze69 says:

    Another nice reason to become a dividend preferred member.

  18. johnva says:

    @sleze69: Then I would have to fly U.S. Airways a lot.

  19. MissTic says:

    I swear, between the airlines, rising fuel costs, and the TSA, we’re going to be flying around in those Tyvek style disposable paper suits and not be allowed to carry anything onboard. And we’ll be subjected to the whims of the flight crew. Who may or may not throw food at you or let you pee. Or will have you arrested.

    Do airline executives bother to read the internet? Hello!?!?!?

    And why are they such a sucking wound when it comes to money? Didn’t the govt bail them out after 9/11? I get operating expense/fuel costs but come on….

    No wonder we drive when we can.

  20. Whitey Fisk says:

    I can’t really blame them. An additional bag per passenger is a lot of luggage for US Airways handlers to go through to steal your belongings.

  21. Landru says:

    @MissTic: And then see this post: [consumerist.com]

  22. Geekybiker says:

    Don’t forget this fee is going to be each way so its like a $50 fare hike.

  23. Quellman says:

    Fuel concerns? Why not decrease weight of plane by removing all the paint on it. I thought they did this in the 70.
    Air Canada is trying it again also.
    [news.cheapflights.com]

  24. I hate to have to make this point again, but if we were actually paying fares that reflected the current cost of jet fuel while getting services we considered normal 10-15 years ago, a $400 cross-country ticket would be close to $800.00.

    Suck it up one way or the other, but if you have to fly, you’re going to pay. Unfortunately for them, I won’t ever fly US Airways again (yay, corporate travel!) so I don’t have to experience their filthy airplanes, baggage rules, inept ground crews, or any part of their company again.

  25. bdgbill says:

    “The high level of service you have come to expect from US Airways”

    Someone at US Airways has some major cajones to dare to put that statement into print. I seriously doubt that there is a single person anywhere that has “come to expect a high level of service from US Airways”.

    I expect US Airways to lose my luggage, cancel flights for no apparant reason and to treat me like a piece of shit. My expectations are always met by them.

    This airline has lost my luggage the majority of times I have flown with them.

    I have had them cancel 3 different flights on me in the same day do to “maintenance issues”. “Maintenance is the catch all excuse which is used when they can’t possibly blame the weather.

    I absolutely will not fly US Airways again unless there is at least a $300.00 difference in fare from any other airline.

    GO BANKRUPT YOU EVIL, DISEASED, HOPELESS EXCUSE FOR AN AIRLINE!

  26. rjhiggins says:

    @esqdork: I keep seeing references to shipping by FedEx: It’s faster, it’s more efficient, etc. But shipping a 50-pound package (max size for one suitcase on most U.S. airlines) cross-country would cost the following, based on their chart:

    Overnight: $279
    2-day: $203

    Even 5-day delivery (assuming you want to pack your suitcase and ship it 5 days ahead of time) costs $50.

    Hey, if you’ve got the money and time, go for it. But I don’t think it should be presented as this easy, reasonably cheap alternative.

  27. darkrose says:

    Either myself or my girlfriend flies US Airways every 4-6 weeks. I live in Jacksonville, she lives in Philadelphia. US Airways and Southwest are the only two airlines offering direct flights to/from these two cities. US Air offers $79 flights to Philly, and $125 flights back. So for $200 and change, we can see each other. Southwest can’t really touch those fares (every once in a while we can get a cheaper flight from PHL to JAX on SW, but it’s only happened twice so far). We’re both single parents, so it’s kind of a big deal to “get away” and do it as cheaply as possible.

    I’ve never had a problem with this airline. Ever. Sure, planes have been delayed and what-not, but I don’t think it’s really USAir’s fault that PHL is such a friggin’ mess. I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t expect much. I’ve flown to various places on other airlines, and I really don’t have much in the way of expectations. But maybe that’s just me.

  28. Javert says:

    @Chols: Scary. This is exactly what I said to my wife when we heard this…would it have not been better PR to raise fares but then announce the “discount” for only having one bag?

    Also, if they are charging for a second bag, why don’t travellers with zero checked bags get a discount? We use less fuel and do not use up human resources in loading and unloading of bags.

  29. mathew says:

    Last time I traveled, I took two small suitcases for a very simple reason: I have a back injury, and if I used one large suitcase I would risk damaging my back carrying it.

    Fuck US Airways.

  30. rollem83 says:

    I’m glad they’re charging for checked luggage. Why should I pay for someone else to haul three cases of wine across the country when I just have one roll-on bag? Prices are going up beyond US Airway’s control, this will help keep my ticket prices low unless I need the extra service, which I will gladly pay for.

  31. erica.blog says:

    driving instead of flying 4 teh win!

  32. esqdork says:

    @rjhiggins: I never suggested that it was cheap.

    Having said that, and assuming you’re correct about the price to ship 50 lbs overnight, consider the cost (aggravation and time spent) associated with lost, stolen or damaged luggage. Bear in mind that there is a value to your own time. As a benchmark, my firm charges $340 an hour to clients for my time and dealing with lost luggage is not how I want to spend it (and NO, the client does not get billed for lost luggage time). My average time waiting for luggage that arrives in one piece is about 40 minutes. The last time an airline lost my luggage it was about an hour and a half at the airport (waiting for the last bags to come off the belt to realize that the luggage is indeed gone and then dealing with customer service), followed by the 30 minutes spent going to a local drugstore for various toiletries because the hotel didn’t have everything I needed plus the cost of the toiletries. Add to that tab the things I need FedExed to me from the office that was in the bag (not everything can be carried on) and the cost of that shipping and the cost difference is narrowed.

    I also note that I never suggested that the cost is currently worth it to everyone but with fees continuing to increase plus the increasing certainty of theft and loss and, as I said, “[a]t some point” the benefit of overnight shipping outweighs the additional cost.

  33. taka2k7 says:

    If they are charging $25 specifically for my bag, I expect special treatment for said bag. How about they give me back the $25 if they damage my bag? And for lost bags something for lost bags.

    How’s about they advertise the actual cost of the plane ticket and stopping jerking the public around with add on fees.

    On the flip side, how’s about people stop abusing the carry on rules and limit the size of their carry ons to the appropriate size. Plus, if you’re sitting at the back of the plane, put your bag in the overhead back there. (No I don’t fly first/business… I usually sit waaay in the back).

  34. StevieD says:

    Anybody thought of UPSing the stuff ahead?

    I got a corp exec flying into town next week. Just received 3 packages to hold in my warehouse for him.

    My aunt flew into town. I shipped UPS her luggage filled home for her and she carried her souveniers as airline luggage.

    Yea it costs $. It also saves time at the airport with both checking in and also waiting for luggage to appear after deplaning.

  35. theblackdog says:

    @erica.blog: No win.

    4.5 hours of flying from Baltimore to Phoenix vs 24 hours to drive all that way.