American Airlines is to introduce a US$15 fee for domestic passengers checking one piece of luggage into the hold.
The charge, which is effective for tickets purchased on or after June 15, comes just weeks after the carrier joined the likes of United and Delta in charging passengers for every second piece of checked luggage (see online news May 1). AA has also increased charges for other services, including oversized bag fees.
The new charges are undoubtedly a result of soaring fuels prices – AA says that a US$10 increase in the price per barrel of oil costs the airline US$800 million in extra expense annually. It will be interesting to see whether rival carriers follow suit, in what is effectively an adoption of the low-cost model pioneered by the likes of Ryanair and Easyjet.
Note that the new checked-baggage charges do not apply to the following passengers:
- American’s AAdvantage program members who have achieved AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Executive Platinum level
- Those who have purchased full-fare tickets in economy, business and first class cabins
- Those with international itineraries (except to and from Canada and U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands)
For more information visit aa.com.
Report by Mark Caswell