American to charge $15 for first checked bag

Per Flying Critic:

And the fees keep coming.  Now American Airlines will charge you $15 to check your FIRST bag.  Elites are exempt.  So are international itineraries.  But otherwise expect to pay up for checking a bag.  I expect them to increase enforcement of carry-on size restrictions.  I also expect United and others to join the race to the bottom as soon as they can.

The press release can be found here.

So is this surprising? I’d say no way. Folks, let’s face it, this is only the beginning. The airlines are trying to nickel-and-dime, one step at a time, and waiting until everyone else follows the last “enhancement” before making another one. I’m willing to bet the others will follow with a month or so, and this quickly become the norm.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? Well, let’s face it, oil is killing the airline industry right now, and they have to find ways to cut costs and increase revenue. I prefer them finding ways to cut costs short of raising the fares substantially, and that’s what they seem to be doing.

Welcome to 2008.

Filed Under: American
  1. Not quite sure how adding a fee can be seen as “cutting cost” and not as “raising fares”. The bottom line effect to the airline is more money (revenue) for the same service delivered at the same cost.

    Quite honestly, it doesn’t matter to me what they call it — luggage fee, fuel surcharge, … in the end it increases what the passenger is paying.

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