Monday, December 1, 2008

New Baggage Policies Kick In For Holidays

Baggage policies differ by airlines. Read the rules on the carrier's Web site or ask an agent before you fly. Here are fees that some leading U.S. carriers charge for a first, second and third checked bag, plus special rules for ski equipment on domestic flights. Note that most airlines waive baggage fees for elite members of frequent-flier programs, first- and business-class travelers and full-fare coach passengers.

- American Airlines: $15, $25 and $100 for first, second and third checked bag. Skis are not normally considered oversize but count as one checked bag. Ski boot bag counts as a second bag.

- Delta Air Lines: $15, $25 and $125. Ski bag and boot bag count as one piece of luggage; no oversize fee but can be charged $90 and up if they exceed 50 pounds.

- United Airlines: $15, 25 and $125. Ski bag and boot bag count as one piece of luggage; no oversize fee but can be charged $125 if they exceed 50 pounds. Only boots and binding allowed in boot bag.

- Continental Airlines: $15, $25 and $100. Ski bag and boot bag up to 50 pounds count as one piece of luggage; so does a bag with one or two snowboards. Boot bag can't exceed 62 inches in length, width and height combined.

- Southwest Airlines: $0, $0 and $25. One pair of skis, poles and boots count as one item; one snowboard and pair of boots also count as one item. Skis longer than 62 inches are charged a $50 oversize fee, according to a Southwest spokeswoman.

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