Bags, bags, bags: who will match American?


It’s our bag. Or not. American Airlines rocked the airline world with word that is going to start charging for every checked bag, not just a second bag. The $15 fee is set to go into effect in a few weeks, with only the airline’s premier-level frequent flyers exempted. Like every other legacy carrier, American is already charging for second checked bag ($25, with the same exemption for elite-level members).

The response from the travelling public was predictable, with nickel and dimes mentioned as the world waited watched and held its breath to see if others would match. One carrier that made it clear it wouldn’t was the one carrier that never planed to and never even thought about it: Southwest. At the core of the Southwest philosophy is giving people little, charging them little – and being funny and wearing a smile as they do it. The airline has never charged an extra fee (except for oversized bags, etc.) and they don’t intend to now. They even went so far as to put out a statement subtly chastising The New York Times for not making this clear. “That is not true,” said the airline of the Grey Lady’s suggestion that it was considering the fee.

But all you had to do was listen to the southwest annual meeting during the week, where chief executive officer, and soon-to-be chairman of the board and president Gary Kelly noted, “We’re just not going to nickel and dime our passengers.”  

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2 Responses to Bags, bags, bags: who will match American?

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