Extra bag fees draw more flyer wrath

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The natives, at least those who fly, are getting restless. They’re grumbling more and they’re grumbling about the fees that air carriers are charging for to carry your bag, be it it your second cheeked bag or even your first bag. We were watching Richard Anderson and Monte Brewer, the chiefs of Delta Air Lines and of Air Canada, at the NBTA the other day, and the anger among the business travel managers in the room was palpable. Richard was a good witness for the defense, though: “compare how much it would cost you to ship your bags with an overnight sereve like FedEx or one of the commercial serves. To ship those golf clubs would be a couple of hundred dollars.” As Gary Kelly, the Southwest Airlines chief, said on the earnings call the other day, “the first thing a lot of people ask our when they call our call centers is, ‘do you charge to check a bag?’.”

 

Consumers are beginning to realize the expense of the bag-shipping services, but it comes as Delta announced that it was doubling the fees for a second checked bag to $50. This all perhaps emphasizes Richard’s point: “We’re not FedEx.”

Interestingly, Hawaiian Airlines said late on Thursday that it was also beginning the first bag fee, and would start charging $15 for the first checked bag between the Islands and the mainland starting October 1. Hawaiian, which reported a profit for the second quarter, also raised its frequent-flyer award-level requirements.

 

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