2 More Airlines to Charge for First Bag

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    2 More Airlines to Charge for First Bag

    June 13, 2008
    By MICHELINE MAYNARD

    For weeks, American Airlines stood alone in facing the ire of passengers over its decision to begin charging $15 to check the first bag. But it now has some company.

    United Airlines said Thursday it would put the charge into effect Friday, two days earlier than American. The $15 fee, for passengers flying on leisure fares booked in advance, is on top of a $25 fee for checking a second suitcase that airlines began charging recently.

    And US Airways said Thursday it also was matching the $15 fee, effective July 9. The charge would apply to flights to and from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, making its program broader than its rivals. In addition, US Airways said it would begin charging most passengers $2 for nonalcoholic drinks, including bottled water, and $7 for alcoholic beverages, on Aug. 1.

    Passengers on the US Airways Shuttle and trans-Atlantic flights will still receive complimentary beverages, the airline said.

    Airlines are attributing new fees and surcharges to high fuel prices, up 91.5 percent from this time last year, according to the International Air Transport Association.
    “With record-breaking fuel prices, we must pursue new revenue opportunities, while continuing to offer competitive fares, by tailoring our products and services around what our customers value most and are willing to pay for,” United’s chief operating officer, John P. Tague, said in a statement.

    Some passengers said they were sympathetic to the plight of the airlines. “I can understand why they’re doing it, to a degree,” said Harry Sanders, an engine inspector for Nascar who flew on United for this weekend’s race at the Michigan International Speedway. “Congress needs to get off their backsides and do something about the energy situation in this country.”

    The new suitcase fees are likely to make the fight for tight space in airplane cabins more fierce, as passengers try to stuff more carry-on luggage into overhead bins.
    Milissa DuPage, a United passenger who works for a pharmaceutical company, said Thursday that she would begin carrying on her bag, which she usually checks to avoid the security rules banning carry-on liquids.

    “I guess I’ll just have to get everything under three ounces,” said Ms. DuPage, of Harsens Island, Mich., while waiting at the baggage claim area of Detroit’s airport. “Then I won’t have to sit and wait for it like I am now.”

    The full effect of the new policy probably will not be felt for a few more days. For example, 75 percent of American’s passengers traveling through Labor Day have already bought their tickets, and therefore do not have to pay the bag charge, said Mark P. Mitchell, the airline’s managing director for customer experience.
    The carriers are also exempting premium members of their frequent-flier clubs, as well as passengers with full-fare tickets, those traveling in business or first class, and overseas travelers.

    Spirit Airlines, a low-fare airline that flies mainly east of the Mississippi River, already collects baggage fees, with discounts for reserving space on its Web site. United and American said they planned to eventually allow passengers to pay the fee on their Web sites.

    United said it also was raising fees for passengers checking three or more bags, for passengers who check heavy bags and items that require special handling.
    At the Detroit airport, Renata Wasserman of Ann Arbor, Mich., and her husband Arthur, a math professor at the University of Michigan, redistributed their clothes between their two bags to avoid a $100 overweight fee. On tickets purchased after Friday, that fee will rise to $125.

    “They might as well raise the overall fare, so at least you know what you’re paying,” said Mrs. Wasserman, who was flying to Krakow, Poland. “Pretty soon they’ll be making us pay to go to the toilet on the plane.”

    United said its new bag fees would generate revenue of about $275 million a year. American has not given a revenue estimate, but if all 25 million people likely to be affected by the charge do check a bag, the airline would raise about $375 million.
    “It’s really trying to find the right match of what customers value and are willing to pay for,” said Mr. Mitchell of American.

    Those who want to avoid it are already becoming resourceful. A Colorado Springs girls softball team sent its bats, balls, and uniforms ahead to a tournament this weekend in a car driven by one of the mothers, rather than ship them on United.
    “We used to check all that,” said Andrea Kinkaid, a parent who arrived Thursday on a United flight. But fees would have been well above the $500 in gas that it cost between Colorado and Michigan, she said.


     
  2. Mr. Bungle

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    Pretty soon, it's gonna be just like that ad parody - only it won't be a parody!!!

    "If you want to use the lavatory, that's an extra 3 dollars. If you want a pillow, that's 2 dollars, and the blanket is 3 dollars. To page the flight attendant, press the button located above you, but that'll be for an extra 2 dollars..."
     
  3. Domisoldo

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    Those measures are only droplets in the bucket.

    Airlines are being slammed with stratospheric operational costs. I would have never suspected that fuel expenses could account for the majority of the cost of flying a passenger...


    All that time I suspected that those 20-hour-a-week, rigid-work-rule-obsessed, obscenely-overpaid (and mostly redundant) unionized pilots were hijacking the airlines...


    I sit back and relax corrected.
     
  4. D_one and done

    D_one and done New Member

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    *sigh* work's gonna be great next week i can already feel it :(

    REMEMBER TO PUT YOUR DAMN LIQUIDS GELS AND AEROSOLS THAT ARE 3.4 OZ OR SMALLER IN A DAMN ONE QUART ZIP LOCK BAG! *AGH!!!
     
  5. Lex

    Lex
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    I have not checked baggage since 9-11. I pack a week's worth in a carry-on and wash it while away if I need to.

    Sure, we can think charging is extreme, or we can think that we can rethink how much clothing you need on a trip. I know many female friends who take a suitcase of nothing more than shoes, even for a 3 day trip. I never did understand it.
     
  6. 1BiGG1

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    I fly a lot and haven’t checked bags in eons because A) I don’t like waiting in the baggage area for my stuff and/or dealing with/worrying about lost luggage and B) I don’t like airline employees going through my stuff when I can’t keep an eye on them.
     
  7. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    My old boss used to FedEx/courier clothes and peripherals ahead of time... cheaper, and at times he could avoid checking luggage, confirm the delivery at the hotel... before he left.

    What the airlines could do... but the ACLU [half the time that union is criminal] and other heathens, would NEVER allow it... is charge ppl by the weight.

    As a passenger, you are taking up volume (both in space and weight). Since the seats are standard size... the space charge portion would be constant.... (a 90 lb person uses up one seat as does a 200 lb person). Then charge based on X lbs [or kilos] over a baseline. For example....

    LAX- NYC:
    Seat reservation: Flat $150
    Weight surplus: $1 per pound for every pound over 50 pounds.

    100 lb 5'0" hottie Asian girl - $200
    200 lb 5'11" business traveler - $300
    300 lb 5'11" person - $400

    Fuel is hitting these folks hard, but to be honest airlines (esp the old bigger ones) may be some of the most poorly run corporations. Some of me thinks this is one industry that actually could use gov't regulation (did I just say that?!).
     
  8. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    This quote is funny.... what CAN they do??? I've noticed that you won't see any talking heads out there on TV/radio telling the American ppl what the government should do. This is OPEC (with a dash of capital markets hysteria thrown in). PLAIN and SIMPLE. This is why we (in the US) don't allow corporations to blatant conspire and purposely control supply. If Saudi Arabia broke free from OPEC... and said we'll sell our oil 90% cheaper, and because of that sell twice as much... blah blah ... don't think there's a need to explain free-market enterprise.


    There is always this Capitol Hill posturizing, but the smart ppl know is create our resource in this country. There is a reason why gas is very cheap in some of even the moderate oil producing countries. Alternative fuels... decades and decades away. Besides unproven. Not sure if I want the gov't subsidizing....we'll have to pay someone from the supply, and I don't want the gov't fat tacked on. Can't have the government buy it in bulk (think very large bulk) at a discounted rate, just to get screwed when the capital markets do their thing and if gas should drop. Hybrids (different thread) cost more, and we don't even know what will become of their quality and upkeep in 15 years or so.

    We haven't built an oil refinery since... forever it seems, closed down all drilling in the US in the name of..... I don't even remember. Thanks enviro-whackiness....
     
  9. Bbucko

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    Same here: if it doesn't fit in the carry-on, it doesn't go with me.

    I didn't always pack so lightly. Back in the 80s and 90s, I had a separate bag just for shoes :redface:

    Let's just say I've learnt the value of simplicity in my middle years.
     
  10. Lex

    Lex
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    I see this as a total non-issue. Don't want to pay for checked baggage? Don't check baggage.

    Next.
     
  11. Lex

    Lex
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    Me too. Fags packing lightly. Who said miracles don't happen? ;-)
     
  12. HazelGod

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    With my usual business travel in mind, I'd normally be quick to agree...

    But the Mrs. and I are looking at a couple weeks across the Atlantic this fall, and I just don't see any realistic way of avoiding checking baggage. Fortunately, it doesn't appear that Air France has jumped on this bandwagon just yet.
     
  13. Lex

    Lex
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    I agree with you. There are lengths of time where checking a bag is necessary. And in those instances, I would be agreeable to waiving fees for overseas travel, etc.

    The fact remains that too many people check 2 bags and carry two on for a 4 day visit in another state. These fees will force them to reconsider, sadly, at the occasion expense of sparse packers like you and me and Bbucko.
     
  14. sargon20

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    International flights are exempted.
     
  15. D_Marazion Analdouche

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    I'm the same here business or pleasure I cannot remember the last time I've had to check a bag.

    Flying overall is still cheap when you consider the service you're getting. Flying coast to coast you can get a ticket for less than 300 dollars if booked a couple months ahead of time.

    Try driving your car on 300 and see how far you get lol.
     
  16. TinyPrincess

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    Oh, great. One free coke for 6-7 hours travelling - that's REALLY service...
     
  17. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    If big bags are going to bring about an extra charge, some of you guys with large balls are in trouble. :wink:

    I have packed as lightly as possible for years. I do have to carry a large suitcase because of a special theraputic pillow for my neck.
     
  18. dong20

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    Or two cokes if you don't eat the complimentary 'food' ... now that's a deal I'd consider! :cool:
     
  19. TinyPrincess

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    LOL - the safest food in the world - it just tastes very much of... nothing, really.
     
  20. dong20

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    Cause of death ... food poisoning, excessive blandness.
     
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