Thursday, May 22, 2008

Luggage Charge #2

I just got an email from Susan at and wanted to share with you all...

Well, I have been warning…

American Airlines announced this morning (according to the Associated Press) that they will begin to charge $15 for the first checked bag for domestic tickets purchased on or after June 15. They will continue to charge $25 for a second checked bag.

Some undiscounted tickets and high level frequent flyers are exempt from these charges, as are international travelers.

What this means for you:

Most likely there will be many more travelers who will carry on bags to avoid the added fee, which will swamp the Transportation Security Administration screening process and create much longer passing times at all security checkpoints. Once past security, aircraft have limited storage areas so this will overload the carry on bin capacity and produce major “bin rage” as competition accelerates for this space. Anticipate delays as more bags must be gate-checked.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s likely that other cash-strapped airlines will think this is a great idea and adopt this policy as soon as they possibly can?


From now on, it is essential to check with each airline that you intend to fly to learn what their checked and carry-on luggage policy is for the date you plan to travel. Be prepared for this to change and check before each flight.

Before you travel, make the decision to pay the fee and avoid the carry-on hassles, or learn to pack light into the smallest carry-on bag possible for the trip with only the 3-1-1 bag for lotions and potions. For help with packing less, go to for traveling light ideas.

Simply booking away from American Airlines may work for a few days but when the other airlines jump on this new-fee bandwagon that advantage will disappear. Note to self: it is becoming more costly to fly. Perhaps the direct ticket cost will not increase, but now we must carefully add up the fees as well.

Many thanks to Joe Brancatelli of for alerting me early today.

Pack smart and travel easy!

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