It’s not just air travelers who get confused by the variety of charges, weight limits and size regulations placed on baggage by all the airlines. The carriers themselves are often befuddled by their own byzantine systems, especially when it comes to travelers transferring between airlines over the course of a long flight. That’s why the the International Air Transport Association announced today the creation of a central database that will provide carriers, travel agents and passengers with all the info they need about their bags. [More]
In the aftermath of Spirit Airlines’ announcement that they’ll be charging up to $45 for carry-on bags, five airlines have pledged that they won’t jump on the fee bandwagon. New York Sen. Charles Schumer said today that American, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and JetBlue have told him they won’t start charging for carry-ons. [More]
Executives love to justify price increases or staff reductions by hauling out the customer service argument, because then any complaint you make can be framed as self-defeating. (“Don’t you want better service?”) On that note, Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza told travel blogger Christopher Elliott last week that the new carry-on bag fee is really intended to reduce gate delays. Remember to send a thank-you card to Baldanza. [More]
Delta has increased its checked baggage fees, effective today. Your first bag now costs $23 and your second, $32, up from $15 and $25, respectively. [More]
Before you travel through the sky in the belly of a silver tube at hundreds of miles per hour, wouldn’t it be nice to know which extra fees you might be charged for doing so? Kayak has a great chart for doing just that. [More]
How fat a bag can I bring? The ad-supported LuggageLimits compiles the carry-on and checked baggage rules for 90 airlines. Just enter your airline, ticket type, departure and arrival city and it will tell you if you’re likely to hit any fee turbulence with your luggage. [LuggageLimits via Lifehacker] [More]
United has just announced a program where you can pay $250 to have their normal checked baggage fees waived for a year. The plan covers 2 bags per passenger, up to 8 passengers “traveling under the same confirmation number.” Current fees are $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second, so if you travel solo a lot and always carry two bags you’ll have to make six trips before you enjoy any savings. On the other hand, if you’ve got a big family trip planned in the next year, this may be a way to shave a little off the fee gouging. But only if you’re stuck with United; BestFares.com notes that “SouthWest offers 2 free bags for free and JetBlue offers the 1st bag free.”
Providing that you check your bags online at least one hour before your flight, US Airways says it will begin charging $20, instead of $15, for the first checked bag and $30, instead of $25, for the second. Those who choose to check bags at the airport can expect $25 for the first and $35 for the second, an increase of $5 per bag.
Despite lowered fuel prices, American Airlines just can’t seem to figure out how to make money. That’s too bad for you — because you’ll be paying higher bag fees.
Here’s a little something that sums up the state of air travel in our nation. Reader Drew was checking in to his Delta flight yesterday when he noticed that not checking any bags was described as “free.”
United and US Airways will soon charge an extra $5 to check bags at the airport, charging $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second. Since it will still cost $15 and $25 respectively to pay for checked bags online, United thinks they can herald the chance to “prepay & save!,” while US Airways boasts that they now have a “lower fee online!”
Daniel at dansdeals.com has put together a chart of baggage fees for 22 US and Canadian airlines. Spirit takes the prize for most expensive, but there are a dozen contenders for second place. The best: Southwest, Air Canada, Porter and WestJet. If you travel with lots of luggage, you may want to bookmark this page for future reference the next time you’re purchasing tickets.
United Airlines is just super crappy at fuel hedging, says Wired. Now that oil is trading at less then $100 a barrel, it turns out that United is paying more than that — and more than other airlines:
Airlines have added all sorts of fees to compensate for their increased oil costs recently. Now that oil has dropped, the fees are gone, right? Nope. Now that we’re all acclimated to a la carte pricing, which airlines have lusted to implement for ages, don’t expect it to be going away anytime soon. $2 fee to have the window open, $4 to have it shut.
United Airlines has decided that $25 was too generous a price to check your second bag with their airline, and have announced that they’ll be bumping the fee up to $50.