Airline fees

The cost of checking your bags is going up.

Delta has apparently joined the move this week to raise the price of checked baggage by $5 per bag.

A note on the company’s Web site says:

For tickets purchased on or after July 16, 2009 for travel on or after August 4, 2009 there will be a $5 surcharge on each of the first two checked bags when checking in via ticket counter, kiosk, or curbside. There is no surcharge for bags prepaid during online check-in at delta.com.

That would increase the fees to $20 for the first bag, $30 for the second.

American is the only major airline that — so far — hasn’t joined in on the baggage fee increase.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit in Nevada is alleging the airlines colluded to raise the fees since their inception during the high point in the spike of jet fuel.

Discussion point: Have you changed your flying habits since the airlines started charging for baggage? Anecdotally, I noticed during a trip to the airport a couple of weeks ago that there was a lot less baggage on the carousels, indicating that people are packing lighter or jamming more stuff into carry-on.

  • Andy Ferron

    Except when traveling internationally, I haven’t checked a bag since 1999. I’ve heard too many stories of lost bags to trust the care of my stuff to anyone but Numero Uno. Recently, rings of baggage handlers and TSA screeners boosting stuff from people’s luggage have started showing up in the news. No locks on checked luggage after 9/11 was the end of it for me.

    Traveling has become a lot less enjoyable since airlines began to nickel-and-dime travelers for even the most basic services. What fees will we see next? Paying for the seat belt? To use the toilet? To breathe during the flight?

  • Jonathan Munson

    How Northwest Airlines is screwing their customers

    August 17, 2009

    I recently had the most awful experience I have ever had with an airline. This situation is so ridiculous I would almost find it humorous if it hadn’t happened been me they screwed. Take my advice and never fly with Northwest Airlines!

    I booked a multiple destination flight from Columbus to San Antonio, San Antonio to Dallas, and then Dallas back to Columbus through Orbitz. Northwest Airlines issued my ticket. Three days before my flight from San Antonio to Dallas, I decided instead to drive to Dallas early and just catch my flight back to Columbus. I called Orbitz to see if I could get some money back for driving instead of flying one leg of the trip and was told I had to cancel that flight. So I agreed and after the flight was cancelled, I was then told that my flight from Dallas to Columbus had been cancelled as well.

    Evidently Northwest loves to collect extra fees for changing tickets. If you purchase a ticket that goes to multiple destinations, you not only can’t cancel any portion of the trip, you have to literally show up for every leg of trip or your entire trip is cancelled! Not only was I not allowed to cancel my flight from San Antonio to Dallas, they told me that if I didn’t show up for my flight in San Antonio, my flight to Columbus would be cancelled as well. How much would it cost me to drive one leg of the trip instead of flying….a minimum of $200, possibly more!

    I can’t believe the desperation of Northwest Airlines to try and make an extra buck by hiding fees in their Terms of Agreement! When I called their customer service, they were extremely rude and obnoxious. I was shocked! I would never have believed I would receive this kind of treatment from any business much less a big airline. Now I’m out hundreds of dollars by missing my flight from San Antonio and have to pay a minimum of $200 if I want to re-book my flight from Dallas to Columbus.

    People should be aware that Northwest might be cheap to fly, but they are hiding as many fees as they can in the small print of those online agreements you agree to when you click accept. I will never fly Northwest Airlines again and I hope many people will read this and avert disaster. Just pay a little extra and fly Southwest which is an honest company.

    The only consolation I have had throughout this awful experience is the knowledge that companies like Northwest, who are dishonest and corrupt, will always go out of business when they resort to this kind of dishonest behavior.

    In disgust,

    Jonathan Munson