Airline Excess Baggage - Tune in to new fees

[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]

Airline Excess Baggage - Changes and FeesJun 19, 2008: Recent changes in the policies of major airlines regarding the number of bags that can be checked in (domestic flights) has definitely increased the cost of air travel. More so for people like us who almost always need to check in a couple of bags due to the nature of our jobs and travel needs. Also, families traveling with children may need to check in more than one bag per person. The bad news is that with each extra check-in bag per person (i.e. greater than one) we have to pay a fee. This fee varies for different airlines.

In an effort to optimize our travel costs, we went ahead and researched the second bag fee and check-in luggage policy for different airlines. In the process we found that Southwest still allows 2 bags at no extra cost, AirTran has levied a $10 fee, JetBLue has decided to charge $20 and other airlines have imposed a fee of $25 or more for the second bag that is checked in. Here are more details:

AirTran Airways
  • Online Link with Details
  • Effective May 15, 2008 - The charge for a second checked bag will be $10 when paid using Online Check-In or $20 when paid at the airport kiosks and ticket counter.
  • For each fare-paying customer, AirTran Airways will allow one (1) checked piece free of charge, with size and weight limitations.

American Airlines
  • Online Link with Details
  • Customers who purchased domestic economy class tickets on or after June 15, 2008 will be charged $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag.
  • AA's carry-on policy of one personal item (such as a purse or laptop bag) plus one bag remains in place.

Alaska Airlines
  • Online Link with Details
  • For travel on or after July 1, 2008 for passengers ticketed after May 1, 2008, passengers will carry a maximum of one piece of checked baggage.
  • Each excess baggage that is checked in (with max linear dimension of 62 inches and max weight 50 lbs) will incur an excess charge of $25 (USD).

  • Online Link with Details
  • For customers who purchased tickets on or after April 5, 2008 for travel on or after May 5, 2008 - $25 for second bag.

  • Online Link with Details
  • $25 for second bag, $80 each for bags 3, 4, 5, $110 each for bags 6, 7, 8 and $180 for bags 9 and 10.

JetBlue Airways
  • Online Link with Details
  • Each customer may bring two bags free of charge until June 1, 2008. On or after June 1st each customer may bring only one bag free of charge.
  • Fee for excess baggage: $20 for second bag, thereafter $75 per bag.

  • Online Link with Details
  • Baggage Allowance: Beginning January 29, 2008, Southwest will allow two (2) checked pieces of baggage per ticketed Customer. Size and weight limitations apply.
  • Excess Baggage: Effective January 29, 2008, you may check a third bag for a charge of $25. Your 4th through 9th bag or item will incur a charge of $50 per piece, and any bag or item thereafter will be $110 per piece.

  • Online Link with Details
  • Customers purchasing any domestic Economy ticket and who do not have premium status in Mileage Plus or Star Alliance may check one bag for free and a second bag for $25.00.
  • Customers who have attained Premier Associate status or higher in Mileage Plus or Silver status and above with a Star Alliance partner are exempt from this policy change.
  • This new policy applies to tickets purchased on or after February 4, 2008 for travel on or after May 5, 2008.

  • Online Link with Details
  • First bag for free, a second checked bag will be assessed a $25 fee. The new fee applies to travel on or after May 5 for tickets purchased on or after February 26, 2008.
Image Source(s): iStockPhoto

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