Checked Bag Fees On The Increase

A number of U.S based airlines are increasing checked bag fees, and not accepting bags over 70 pounds on international flights, according to air fare research site airfarewatchdog.com.

They identified several by name.

American has raised the fee for a second checked bag by $10 (from $50 to $60). On flights to the Caribbean and Central America they are now charging $30 for a second checked bag – it used to be free.

On United, a second checked bag used to be free on flights to and from the US, Canada, and South and Central America. they now charge $30.

JetBlue raised their second bag fee from $30 to $35.

And on US Airways, 50+ pound bags that used to have a fee of $70 are now $90, and oversized bags have gone from $100 to $175.

While airfarewatchdog.com’s study focused on the fees of second checked bags, another organization, the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) is pushing the U.S. Government to prohibit airlines from charging a fee for the first checked bag. The USTA says that baggage fees are causing flyers to carry more luggage through airport security points, slowing down the system as each bag is checked. However, the Air Transport Association (ATA) is arguing the point, saying the government should not have a role in how airlines deal with their pricing.

A bill has been introduced in congress that will require that ticket agents divulge the cost of checked baggage when they quote the cost of airfare, and to refund baggage fees when bags are lost, damaged or delayed.

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