American Airlines Charges Fees To Non-Passengers

In an attempt to improve margins during tough times, American Airlines will now charge fees to non-passengers, The Onion reports. (Thanks to ubermex!) (Photo: joyosity)


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  1. zigziggityzoo says:

    I can see this happening sometime soon!

    More seriously, What happens when they start charging an extra bag fee for those catching a connecting flight via one of their sister airlines? Say you’re flying Delta, and catch a connector from Canada Air, and Canada Air charges you $25 to carry your bags, too?

    • josephbloseph says:

      @zigziggityzoo: I remember once I flew with an overweight bag. I was charged a fee at check-in with the first airline, but never heard anything from the connecting flight (through a sister airline).
      They don’t really have a reason to charge you for taking a bag on a sister airline just like they don’t really have a reason to charge you for taking a bag on the airline you booked through.

      • floraposte says:

        @josephbloseph: Which I suppose would support z’s initial suspicion. However, my guess is that checking a bag through saves an airline enough labor hours that they’d rather eat any extra fee than make you drag the thing out and re-present it.

        Where it might come into play is if you’re changing to a commuter airline that can’t fit your carryon inside. Around here, they check those bags planeside free of charge still, and I still think it’d be more trouble than it’s worth to change the system, but you never know what some enterprising corporate individual will consider an opportunity.

  2. Yankees368 says:

    Weird specific paragraph in that article:
    “JetBlue, a commercial carrier known for its thrifty rates, has come out ahead of the pack, however, and is being lauded for its decision not to charge non-passengers not to fly.”

    Some jetBlue love at the Onion?

    • KyleOrton says:

      @Yankees368: I don’t know. If you think about it, the Onion is really encouraging people to be non-passengers of Jet Blue. Since it’s non-passengers that won’t be charged. That could really hurt their business.

    • Propaniac says:

      @Yankees368: I think it’s just a joke that the airline is being praised just for NOT doing something reprehensible.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is not funny! On Wednesday I had a charge on my credit card for $40 and it says “American Airlines – Fee/Greg”. So I called them up and told them I would be calling my bank to do a chargeback but they laughed me off the phone. Then on Friday there is a new charge on my card for $100.00 “American Airlines – Fee/Chargeback threat”.

    Don’t mess with these guys!

    – Greg

  4. kc2idf says:

    Are they benefiting from any government subsidies? If so, then they already charge fees to non-customers.

  5. B says:

    Nice touch on the sign. Flight arrives at 9:15ish. I wish the airlines could be this honest.

  6. Segador says:

    I work for a firm that books travel for high-level government and military personnel, and we actually do get charged fees for people that don’t fly, all the time.

  7. vastrightwing says:

    Crying babies? Anyone? Extra fees?

    • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

      @vastrightwing: Did you read the article?
      “Plus, every time I stay at home, I always get trapped next to some kid who won’t stop crying.”

  8. Etoiles says:

    The funny part is, in my need-more-coffee Monday haze I actually found this a 100% believable headline for over five seconds.

    • Optimistic Prime says:

      @EtoilePB: Same here, until I saw it was from the Onion. Boy was I confused…

      • dialing_wand says:

        @Optimistic Prime: I took fell for it for about 5 seconds. What that says about the state of the airline business is telling enough.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this makes it into the not-so-big-three’s bailout demands in a not-funny at all way. A fee for those who chose not to support the “American Revolution.”

        Buy a car, fly a jet, or you’re with them.

  9. Skipweasel says:

    Isn’t this, in effect, what the bank bail-out was anyway?

  10. lalaland13 says:

    I love the end paragraph, about the woman who isn’t sure if she can see relatives she already lives with. Comic genius. And I also find this all-too believable.

  11. SWBLOOPERS says:

    Darn, Skipweasel beat me to what I wanted to post!

  12. sgtyukon says:

    I’d gladly pay a reasonable fee not to fly American Airlines.

  13. Triterion says:

    “Planning To Spend Thanksgiving At Home Tax” hahaha awesome

  14. hhole says:

    I passed this article on to one of my more clueless coworkers. She responded with how mad they were that the airlines were doing this to us. She said something about complaining to the airlines about being billed for not even being on a plane.

    I gave her an article from The Consumerist on how to do an EECB. I look forward to their response.


    • ShadowDancer says:

      @hhole: please tell me she is blond.

      i wish i could see the look on whomever receives her EECB about this. it will be a classic WTF moment!

  15. (Starman) Starman says:

    Sorry for being ignorant, but what is a “non-passenger?”

  16. alhypo says:


    Just kidding, I know what The Onion is. However, my sister told me about one of her classmates in college who actually used The Onion as part of her research. Her presentation was rather amusing to everyone else in the class. Man, that would be embarrassing.

    Also, I forwarded an Onion article to one of my economics professors once. From his reply, I got the sense that he was subtly trying to inform me that The Onion is a news parody without actually coming out and saying so directly (so as to save me the embarrassment, I guess). I probably should have said something so he didn’t think I was an idiot, but I didn’t.

  17. GoVegan says:

    I am just waiting for them to install pay toilets on the planes.

  18. jwissick says:

    The sad part is that it is true. Can you say Government Bail Out?

  19. billbobbins says:

    My father just got a bereavement rate on a flight as his mother just died. AA sold him a ticket and quoted him a full fare price of $550. He made sure to ask if his total bill would be $550 and they confirmed. Then he checked his credit card after the trip and there was a $20 added fee. AA then said that there is always a $20 fee if you don’t book online (i.e. over the phone). He asked if he could get the bereavement fare online and they said no. He stated that noone ever told him of the $20 fee and he specifically asked what his final charge would be. They told him that he should have known that there’s always a $20 fee to talk to a phone rep. No sympathy for these crooks.