Saturday, November 8, 2008

United Scraps Plan For Baggage Fee Increase

United Airlines says it has withdrawn a planned fee hike for second checked bags after other airlines failed to match it.

The nation's No. 3 airline, based in Chicago, announced earlier it would raise its fee for a second checked bag from $25 to $50 each way as of Nov. 10. But when no other carriers reciprocated the move, the airline canceled its plans, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

Instead, United is offering a 20 percent discount for the first checked bag for passengers who pay for their tickets online.

The airline's move is being seen as part of a move by carriers to rein in the imposition of new fees as the hard-hit traveling public is showing signs of rebellion by defecting to discount carriers such as Southwest Airlines
, analysts told the Tribune.

Southwest is heavily advertising its no-fee policy and has set up "No-Fee Zones" around its airport ticket counters in advance of the holiday travel season, the newspaper said, noting Southwest's October passenger traffic increased slightly while United's traffic fell 10 percent.

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