Delta To Add $15 First Checked Bag Fee

The AP says that the new mergeriffic Delta will be adding a $15 fee for the first checked bag and $25 for the second checked bag when traveling domestically, which is consistent with Northwest’s existing policies.

From the AP:

Customers who purchased Delta tickets on or before Wednesday, and who are traveling on or after Dec. 5, will be charged $50 for a second bag, but will be permitted to check their first bag without charge based on Delta’s previous policy. Customers flying in first or business class, including SkyMiles Medallion members and WorldPerks Elite members, will be able to check up to three bags, up to 70 pounds each, for free, Delta said.

Delta Air Lines adding first bag fee [IHT]
(Photo: Flying Photog )


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  1. Murph1908 says:

    I used to avoid Southwest, due to their ‘wait in line’ boarding.

    Now they give you your place in line when you check in. Still not as good as assigned seating, but it works.

    Now, I don’t think I’ll even bother checking other airlines. Can’t keep track of who has fees and who doesn’t…except Southwest.

    • Citron says:

      @Murph1908: Southwest is the only airline I fly on, as well. I fly fairly regularly, since I’m in college away from home and tend to get shipped in for holidays and such. It seems like SW is the only airline that actually treats you like a decent human anymore as opposed to an inconvenience.

      Honestly, I’ve flown United and US Air and Delta, etc. I felt like I was a just burden upon them. I can’t believe it’s come to that. What a horrible way to run a service industry. And yet, people put up with it anyway.

    • jamar0303 says:

      @Murph1908: I just wish they’d partner up with some international airlines. The majority of my travel is trans-Pacific, but on the US side isn’t a destination directly covered (codeshares are still run by the US-based partner).

  2. Murph1908 says:

    Oh, and I’m a Skymiles member. Won’t be adding any more points to that program.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @Murph1908:’re just bitter because the only mile-redemptions they have available mean you have to spend 60,000 miles on a domestic round trip! (not a joke)!

  3. Spaceman Bill Leah says:

    And this is why I paid a bit more to fly on Southwest for Christmas. I figured that traveling with a baby means buttloads of gear and that we’d need to check at least two bags. Plus carrying presents back and forth. By the time we would have paid all the baggage fees, Southwest ended up cheaper.

  4. nataku8_e30 says:

    I generally never check bags anyway, but I guess this year I’ll just have all the gifts I purchase online sent to my parents house.

  5. jonmason1977 says:

    Stupid. People already take way more carry on than they should be allowed: One small bag and a personal item has become basically two mini-suitcases… This rule will just encourage people to take more luggage as “carry on” and there will be no space in the bins etc.

    • serreca says:

      @jonmason1977: Yes, this.

      It’s only a matter of time before all these fees bite the airlines in the ass.

    • emilymarion333 says:

      @jonmason1977: I fly all the time – there is never room in the overhead since everyone is carrying on the avoid the fee. It also takes FOREVER to de-plane since everyone is scrambling to get all the carry ons..

      • SadSam says:

        Agree. Last time I flew on USAir and paid to check my first bag, I carried on a very small bag and put it in the overhead. Next thing I know the flight attendant is trying to get me to put the small bag under the seat to accomodate the big bags everyone else carried on to avoid the fee. I declined and told the flight attendant, I paid to check my bag so I don’t really think I should have to give up leg room to accomodate the carry on luggage for all those who didn’t want to pay. And you know what, she totally agreed with me.

  6. Red_Flag says:

    Now all that’s left to do is drop one or both “complimentary” carry-on + small item allowances, and we have an industry-wide defacto ticket hike that isn’t reflected in the prices advertised, thereby advertising falsely and obscuring the true cost the consumer has to pay!

    Go, go free market!

  7. acknight says:

    I’m quickly running out of airlines I don’t have to drive hours to get to airports they fly to that don’t have baggage fees.

  8. emilymarion333 says:

    I’m still sticking with Southwest! – First 2 bags are free to check!

  9. Victor15b says:

    Suck it Delta!! Im taking all my trips on AMTRAK

  10. PinkBox says:

    I usually only take a carryon on most flights, but I’m still going to avoid airlines that are charging for the first bag checked.

    That should obviously be part of what you pay for the ticket itself, and aren’t gas prices a good deal lower now?

    • drumbum says:

      @PinkBox: Yes, but the dumber airlines hedged fuel at the higher prices (they were forced to). Thus, they’re still in a world of hurt despite gas being down.

      Go AMTRAK!

  11. mergatroy6 says:

    so the airlines want me to use them as a mode of travel but the initial cost of their service doesn’t include my luggage. Luggage is pretty essential to the travel experience. Silly airlines.

  12. hills says:

    I recently tried Southwest for this reason – and I HATED it! Next time I’ll pony up the $15 and avoid all the flyers who have zillions of kids, and Southwest’s line to check in at the kiosks was 1 hour + wait – crazy! (PS – I don’t care if I have a spot in line, I do not like not having as assigned seat!)….

  13. picardia says:

    I’ve only packed carryons for years now, with the exception of a couple of Christmas visits where I had to have room to tote the gifts home. I started doing this b/c of fear of lost luggage and/or getting stranded at a connection due to flight delay or cancellation. (Your ability to switch to a new flight is GREATLY enhanced if you don’t have checked luggage, as is your ability to just check into a hotel in the connection city that night and still being able to wash, brush, etc.) I find that this is extremely easy to do; in fact, I just spent two weeks in South America, with clothing to accommodate temperatures from the 40s to the 80s, and had no difficulty with this. I honest to God do not know what people who are not traveling with small children and/or going to a wedding to which they must take lots of formal clothes and shoes are putting in those bags. I mean, WHAT IS IN THERE? When I visited my sister for five days this summer, I had two carryons (roller and backpack) and had eight changes of clothing, three pairs of shoes, sleepwear, makeup, hair stuff, a laptop, an iPod, three books and baby gifts. I remember this b/c I reviewed the list in my mind while watching a woman roll a cart with five freakin’ suitcases on it. HUGE ones. She seemed to be traveling alone. I don’t know what could possibly require that, save maybe for moving to another country.

    People who actually are traveling to formal events and/or with small children have my total sympathy. Everybody else: Seriously, what are you packing?

    • res ipsa pasta says:

      @picardia: rollerskates? Economy size bottles of shampoo? Five pairs of shoes? I don’t know. If you’re on vacation, you don’t need nice clothes and if you’re on business travel, usually you can get away with one suit and a couple changes of shirts. But I hate carrying around luggage–I want to be able to run to the gate if I have to!

    • dorkyparker says:

      @picardia: Not everybody travels for vacation. I just spent 2.5 months straight on the road for my job with a purse, a laptop bag, one personal suitcase and a bag for holding all my work materials. Believe me, that was bare minimum and I still wore dirty clothes every day.

    • lulfas says:

      @picardia: People like you bringing two full size carryons and taking up all the bins are the reason the rest of us have to check so much. Thanks a lump.

      • picardia says:

        @lulfas: My backpack goes under the seat in front of me, and my appropriately-sized roller goes in the bin. Ergo, I have one item in the bin, which is what we’re all allowed. I’m not the reason you have to check anything. Enjoy paying those fees while making nasty assumptions about other people and whining about them OBEYING THE RULES.

    • Jetgirly says:

      @picardia: I have moved all over the world for work, and thus have had to bring my work clothes and my hanging out clothes. Most of the “trips” I’ve taken have been for longer than six months, and have involved studying or working in a foreign country. I like to try to carve out a decent life for myself when I go abroad, rather than live “like a backpacker”, so I need to bring some of the comforts of home (like my straightening iron, ten pairs of shoes, a couple books, etc.). You have no way of knowing whether the person behind you in line is going away for a weekend or the rest of their life. The first time I moved to Europe I had no idea what country I wanted to settle down in, so I lugged all my possessions from Spain to Sweden before settling down in Italy. So sue me. I’ve packed for a weekend trip with just a handbag, I can easily pack a week’s worth of stuff into a carry-on, but I’m frequently leaving on or arriving home from a signifcantly long trip.

  14. res ipsa pasta says:

    I recently flew Continental (because they don’t have luggage fees). Our return flight was a codeshare with NWA, which does have luggage fees. Guess who ended up having to pay luggage fees anyway?

  15. Scuba Steve says:

    Iphone, Laptop, Book, Camera, chargers, pants, shirts, bath stuff, to name all the stuff I bring.

  16. Donathius says:

    I stick with Southwest for three reasons:
    1) Price – places I fly frequently Southwest is consistently cheapest
    2) Employees – they have some of the most pleasant, happy airline employees I’ve ever dealt with
    3) No frickin’ fees! I pay what I paid when I bought my ticket and that’s it!

  17. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    This is going to make having an early boarding zone on Delta flights that much more important. I’ve been lucky the last few weeks, but that isn’t always the case.

    Also, they better start checking people who have too many carry ons. I watched a woman bring on 4 bags on my flight on Sunday (rolling luggage, backpack, large purse, large shopping bag, all full of stuff). I don’t know where she put it all, but she should not have been allowed on the plane with it all.

    • res ipsa pasta says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: I don’t see how they are going to be able to do that. Are they going to have a credit card scanner at the gate for the extra luggage that people are going to have to check gate-side? I agree, it’s a huge problem and not enforced.

  18. banmojo says:

    i wouldn’t actually mind this trend (especially if we started getting variable ticket prices based on OUR weight when we check in!!) but only if it actually meant lower ticket prices for those who #1 weight less than the average fat ass American and/or #2 bring less luggage with them.

    As it stands, this is just another type of tax being added to already exorbitant prices for a service that treats us like dirty dung covered sheep.


  19. n301dp says:

    This part of Delta’s reallignment of fees is a part of a greater (and arguably more customer friendly) change:

    -Elimination of fuel surcharges for award tickets
    -Elimination of “administrative fees” for curbside checkin
    -Reduction of 2nd checked bag fee on Delta from $50 to $25

    Of course, the bag fees are no good, as is the announcement of the introduction of “Coach Choice” seats on Delta flights. I’ll take what I can get though.

  20. Ron Draper says:

    Bag fees really suck royally, but all this as done for me is encouraged me to pack lighter when I travel. I already have paper soap and shampoo from so that’s a LOT lighter than bringing various liquid sundries, and now I just feel encouraged to either mail supplies to myself at my destination or buy new clothes at my destination to mail back to myself at home. In this way, I’ve ended up being a sleek traveller, whereas before I couldn’t leave the home without 7 changes of clothing for a weekend trip.

  21. MacQix says:

    As a business traveler, I don’t even have to pay the fees myself yet I STILL avoid airlines who charge them. And so does everyone else in my company of 10k+ employees.

    The airlines are nickel and dime charging the public and it will get to a point where people will boycott them. I know I have.

  22. vastrightwing says:

    Please add the $100 crying baby fee! Please!

  23. PeteyNice says:

    I am confused by the article. If I purchased my ticket before Wednesday (like say in June) and am traveling before December 5 (like say for Thanksgiving) will I still be able to check a bag for free?

  24. frodo_35 says:

    Drive. Flying is a pain in the ass and should only be done as a last resort.

  25. Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

    I always try to fly Jetblue. I like their in flight Direct TV service, more leg room, whole cans of soda still served (w/ free cookies/chips), first checked bag still free, and friendly staff who try to keep you informed on what’s going on! I’ve never flown Southwest, but hear they are pretty good too. the rest of the domestic industry is garbage.

  26. bonzombiekitty says:

    On some level I kinda agree with the fees. I mean, if I’m bringing 5lbs of luggage with me, why should I have to incur part of the cost of the 50lbs worth of luggage that the guy down the aisle brought with him? If they’re going the generate additional revenue, I’d rather them do so in a way that lets individuals opt out some way rather than spreading the additional cost amongst all passengers. That is, of course, provided the fees are clearly noted.

    Ideally, I sorta think you should pay based on total weight. There’d be a low base price for the seat, then you’re weighed with all your luggage and charged $X per pound. I think that’d be the fairest system if you want to look at it strictly as paying for how much it costs for yourself to fly.

  27. buckfutt says:

    Here’s a bit ..|.. to Delta. This kind of crap is why I switched to AirTran a year or so ago. KMA, you arrogant jerks.

  28. little stripes says:

    The irony of course is that Southwest — which used to be thought of as the cheap, ghetto airline — will now be the #1 airline. Go SW!

  29. PicklePants says:

    The thing that gets me about these checked bag fees (in addition to everything everyone has already said), is that it discriminates against the elderly and people with disabilities. It’s really difficult for my 76-year-old mother to lug a bag around, not to mention wrestle it into the overhead bin. Similarly, I would be happy to travel light, but now that I have an infant, it’s simply not possible to carry-on a suitcase while dealing with a kid in tow.

    I just sent off an angry email to Delta, for all the good it will do.

    • little stripes says:

      @PicklePants: THIS! “Oh, just carry on a light bag!” Yeah, YOU can do that, but not everyone can. Ugh. People don’t think much outside of themselves, obviously.

  30. Jesse says:

    I saved at least $130 over SW by going through NWA (Now Delta)for my Thanksgiving flgiht. I will gladly pay the $15 fee for the sake of coming out ahead, even though I think the fee is absurd.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Just raise the damn fares. The last flight I was on was 40 minutes delayed getting out of the gate because there was NO ROOM in the overheads for all the crap people hauled onto the plane, so they had to drag it forward and cabin check it. The whole thing is insane.