Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Delta Has Emergency Landing at JFK and Then Announces Bag Fee Increase

A Delta Air Lines plane carrying 167 passengers safely made an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday evening, hours after it blew a tire on takeoff from the Queens airport, authorities said.

Flight 141, which was bound for Salt Lake City, circled Kennedy for several hours to burn off fuel, then dumped extra fuel over a nearby body of water before landing, said Alan Hicks, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the airport.

No injuries were reported. Passengers were taken by bus back to a terminal.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. did not immediately respond to an after-hours call seeking comment.

After crash landing a plane, Delta public relations figured this would be a good time to announce they are raising the checked bag fee for Delta flights.

Delta Air Lines is doubling its fee for checking a second bag to $50 for domestic flights, or $100 for a round-trip domestic flight.

The new fee goes into effect for customers who buy tickets July 31 or later, for travel Aug. 5 or later.

Atlanta-based Delta is also increasing its fees for additional bags, overweight bags, oversized bags and items that require special handling, like ski equipment.

Delta did not announce a fee for checking a first bag, as other airlines have.

"At this time we believe that the first checked bag is part of the service provided associated with the price of a ticket," Delta spokesman Kent Landers said. "But we will continue to evaluate everything given the fuel environment."

Delta said fewer than 20 percent of its customers check a second bag.

Travelers on international Delta flights will still be able to check two bags for free and first class, BusinessElite and Medallion passengers on Delta will still be able to check three bags for free.

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