Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cabin Pressure

Michelle Maynard, New York Times:
American Airlines said Wednesday that it would soon start charging passengers $15 to check their first bag each way, or $30 round-trip, if they are flying on a discounted fare.
The airline’s new policy — to take effect June 15 — comes only two weeks after many major carriers, including American, began charging $25 each way for checking a second bag.
The new fee is just the latest example of airlines adding charges on top of rising airfares, even at the risk of angering travelers further, to make up for the billions of dollars they are losing as fuel prices soar.
It is also likely to make the fight for already-tight space on planes more fierce, as passengers try to stuff more carry-on luggage into overhead bins.
It’s only going to get worse and worse,” said Laura Glading, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents employees at American.
American Airlines executives said they had little choice but to impose such fees, given that the price of jet fuel is up more than 80 percent from a year ago.

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