Baggage Fees Take Off

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
When airline baggage surcharges first popped up several years ago, passengers were understandably outraged. Eventually the practice became commonplace, as more and more airlines charged customers to check their luggage.

Customers' grudging acceptance may be about to end. Delta Airlines recently announced that they are increasing their baggage fees. Previously, Delta's customers were charged $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second. Ah, those were the days! Now, passengers can expect to fork over $23 for the first bag and $32 for the second.

Adding insult to injury, Continental Airlines has announced that they too are increasing their baggage fees to match Delta's. In the aftermath of the announcement, Web searches on "baggage fee rates" and "delta baggage fees" both shot up into triple digits. Clearly, folks want to know just how much each airline charges, before booking their next trip.

We did a bit of research on the major carriers' official sites and came up with this handy list of what you can expect to pay for the privilege of checking your underwear and toothbrush. All fees are for non-refundable coach flights within the United States. Also, keep in mind that fees can be higher if you pay them at the airport vs. online. There are also other possible exceptions, depending on your frequent flyer status, etc. Isn't traveling fun? Bon voyage!

- Alaska Airlines: $15 for the first bag, $25 for the second.
- American Airlines: $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second.
- Continental Airlines: $23 for the first, $32 for the second..
- Delta Airlines: $23 for the first, $32 for the second.
- JetBlue Airlines: first bag free, second bag will cost you $30.
- Northwest Airlines: first bag $23, second bag $32.
- Southwest Airlines: two bags for free. Really.
- United Airlines: when fees paid online, $15 for the first bag, and $25 for the second. When paid at the airport, $5 more for each bag.
- Virgin America: $20 for the first, $20 for the second.
LINK

The Southwest media campaign about free baggage is looking to be genius right now. The question is how long will they be able to maintain the policy as they seem to be the last holdout in this area.

I always fly Southwest or American. When my entire family flies (wife and two kids) we usually have to check 3 bags. It totally stinks having to pay that extra $70 when we go with American.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,525
8,141
Colorado
I am trying to do all my flying through Southwest for this very reason. I think this is total crap by the airlines. One checked bag should be included with the price of the ticket. I'm ok with charging for extras, but charging for the first is beyond ridiculous in my opinion.
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,130
5
FL
Baggage fees on the first checked bags are highway robbery. In order to look cheaper on the online comparison booking sites, the base fare is lower. You add in bagage fees, and you are much more expensive! I am flying JetBlue on Friday and am happy to say my first bag is free!
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
mscriv, you should only pay $60. Just check with one of the kids. I just paid $25 for one bag on US Airways.
American told us there was no price difference in checking for me vs. my 4 year old. But, hey I'm willing to try again, it never hurts to ask. Luckily, our last flights, this past September, were booked just prior to American's baggage rate increase. They used to be $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second, but now they're at the rates listed above. The other part of the rip off is that the baggage fee is paid per flight, so in reality on one round trip ticket you pay baggage each way. (Pay for ticket once - pay for baggage twice) :(
 

IndustrialSpace

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2009
696
1
somewhere
LINK

The Southwest media campaign about free baggage is looking to be genius right now. The question is how long will they be able to maintain the policy as they seem to be the last holdout in this area.

I always fly Southwest or American. When my entire family flies (wife and two kids) we usually have to check 3 bags. It totally stinks having to pay that extra $70 when we go with American.
SWA lucked out by hedging their fuel yrs ago. Great company. Very happy pilots.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
mscriv, you should only pay $60. Just check with one of the kids.

I just paid $25 for one bag on US Airways.
Perhaps, and just maybe, checking a bag with a kid is a great idea if that bag were at all the size of a carry on? I think people are smart enough to give each person the largest carry on they can have and check only what is needed. Give the guy some credit. :)
I don't take trips where I have to take more than my carry-ons. Not because I particularly care about the fees...I just never have a need.
Isn't that great for you? Not everyone can cram their **** into what is the acceptable carry-on sized bag and get away with it.

As someone who cannot cram everything into a carry on if I am gone more than 3 days I have to admit that the prices are ridiculous. If they claim this is to cover fuel then what's the reason for the drastic hike in prices of tickets? Frankly this a futile attempt to save a failing company or failing companies. SWA did it right when everyone else said they were out of their minds.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
$23? What a random number.
It's not a random number, it's probably just a random formula for calculating it :-o

Isn't that great for you? Not everyone can cram their **** into what is the acceptable carry-on sized bag and get away with it.
It is great, and I know not everyone can get away with it. Not my problem.

If they claim this is to cover fuel then what's the reason for the drastic hike in prices of tickets? Frankly this a futile attempt to save a failing company or failing companies. SWA did it right when everyone else said they were out of their minds.
Airlines are going to be the next bailout. You complain now... just wait til its your tax dollars as well.
 

Ca$hflow

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2010
447
67
London, ON
I was charged $350 for baggage fee because I was overweight with an airliner I don't remember right now. Crazy thing is that after I checked in my luggage and was charged the fee I was able to buy duty free crap and not get charged for that extra weight. It's a complete scam.
 

dmr727

macrumors G3
Dec 29, 2007
8,621
22
NYC
Great company. Very happy pilots.
Yeah, they're one of the best paying airlines in the industry, and for the most part the company has a pretty solid relationship with the pilot group. It just goes to show that you can have a successful airline and not have to crap all over your employees to get it.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
It is great, and I know not everyone can get away with it. Not my problem.



Airlines are going to be the next bailout. You complain now... just wait til its your tax dollars as well.
It is not your problem, true. I don't make it anyone's problem either. I do what I can to save and pad for the expense. As far as complaining, I wasn't complaining so much as commenting on a process that is failing.
 

IndustrialSpace

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2009
696
1
somewhere
Yeah, they're one of the best paying airlines in the industry, and for the most part the company has a pretty solid relationship with the pilot group. It just goes to show that you can have a successful airline and not have to crap all over your employees to get it.

Judging by your avatar and username, I'm guessing you're a pilot too!

I've got a commercial, CFI & CFII, but not flying any more. Poor QOL and food stamp wages.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
All tickets should include one checked bag. These fees are absurd. It won't be long until they weigh us and then charge for the ticket.

I fly JetBlue and they still include the first bag. They need to advertise that and take advantage like SW is.
 

dmr727

macrumors G3
Dec 29, 2007
8,621
22
NYC
Judging by your avatar and username, I'm guessing you're a pilot too!

I've got a commercial, CFI & CFII, but not flying any more. Poor QOL and food stamp wages.
Well, my username is a coincidence - I was born July 27th. ;) And you were smart for getting out. I always joke that one day I'll quit and go give five dollar hand jobs in back alleys - just to get my dignity back.
 

jbennardo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2009
772
0
This will make people even more stupid and inconsiderate about what they try to cram in the overhead compartments. I can't believe some of the stuff people claim is carry on. :eek:
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
mscriv, just wait until 2014 and no more Wright Amendment.
If that happens it would be great. Based on the first set of Wright Amendment changes Southwest opened up direct routes to St. Louis (the in-laws) which is great when you can get an early $49 or $59 flight. However, even though they said Nashville (my family) was going to be the second major city opened, it has yet to materialize. So, flying Southwest to see my folks means a layover in Houston, San Antonio or something similar. Not to mention the prices of the tickets to Nashville are much higher. We usually break even going with American for these flights because they are direct and competitively priced.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
That they probably paid an executive hundreds of thousands of dollars to come up with.
That's just silly. Why would you pay an executive when you could hire a consulting firm to send in a bunch of clueless MBAs to do a feasibility study and some multivariate testing. :rolleyes:
 

Superdrive

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2003
762
26
Dallas, Tx
Delta's quoted prices above are for online baggage checkin only. If you wait until the airport to pay, the prices are $25 and $35 respectively, a $10 hike from the original 2008 rates. If I recall correctly, the online prepayment discounts were $5 off the airport price, so the new $2 and $3 discounts give even less benefit.

With that said, I hope people realize there is more cost to flying than the base ticket price. I expect to see Southwest Airlines' "Bags fly free" policy to start sticking in people's minds.