Saturday, May 16, 2009

Airlines Hiking Baggage Fees

Airlines have lost so many passengers that to make up for the loss of revenue, they are planning to gouge the few people left who actually are getting on a plane.

Both United Airlines and US Airways say they are preparing to increase fees for customers who pay luggage fees at U.S. airports.

The Chicago Tribune said Friday United Airlines and US Airways will implement the increases June 10 and July 9, respectively, but both airlines will not charge those customers who are flying first-class or are frequent-flier program elite members. Customers who pay the airlines' baggage fees online will also avoid the price hike.

United currently charges passengers $15 for their first bag and $25 for the second. The price hike will raise those baggage costs to $20 and $25 respectively.

US Airways, which uses a $15/$25 baggage system, said its planned $5 additional charge per bag will apply to all U.S. flights, along with flights to Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Dayton (Ohio) Business Journal said.

The Tribune said baggage fees are becoming a major source of income for airlines amid the struggling economy. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates $1.2 billion was earned by the 21 largest U.S. carriers in 2008 through baggage fees alone.

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