More interesting (to me) than Delta’s $794 million first quarter loss is the new bag fee they’re putting in place on July 1. We’re all used to bag charges by now, either because we’ve paid for them at the airport or at the very least have heard the media talking about them nonstop, but Delta’s leading the pack on this one. They’ll actually be charging $50 for a second checked bag on international flights.
I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I sort of like the “unbundling” that’s happening in the industry. It makes sense to me, at least when it comes to bag fees. Passengers that consistently don’t check bags are essentially subsidizing the handling and added fuel costs of those that do check bags. On the other hand, fees like that are easy in the US when almost every carrier matches. The problem here is that Delta is competing with international airlines that don’t nickel-and-dime customers. Not only do most international airlines not charge for bags, but they don’t charge for alcohol, headsets, etc.
Only time will tell whether or not this new fee will stick. It will ultimately come down to whether or not the other US legacies match.