Airline fees

If you don’t like the fees airlines are charging for checked baggage, you have nobody to blame but yourself, at least one airline spokesperson suggests.

Dan Webb, who writes the blog Things in the Sky, asked several airlines why they’re still charging for checked baggage (a fee that was ostensibly going to offset the spike in fuel prices) now that the cost of fuel has dropped.

He found the response from Continental to be “interesting.”

“While we initially tried to avoid baggage fees, the fact is that the consumer gave no preference to airlines not charging them. In order to maintain an even footing with other airlines from a revenue standpoint, the baggage fee became a necessary competitive response.”

Passengers may not like the baggage fees, but they’re more than willing to pay them. Of course, in many markets, the flying public doesn’t have the choice. In the Twin Cities, for example, Northwest/Delta and Sun Country both charge a fee.

The great experiment will begin in a few months, however, when Southwest Airlines flies into town. The airline doesn’t charge a fee for checked baggage.

When the fees were announced, a lot of people thought it would make the carry-on situation a nightmare. But apparently that hasn’t happened.

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