The airline says that by year-end it will have developed a way for customers to pay baggage fees at united.com when they check in on-line. Chicago-based United estimates that its merchandising efforts including its bag fees will raise as much as $700 million in 2009. The United fees begin on November 19.
Predicatably, reaction was predictable, with predictable passenger blogs kvetching. But the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association quoted its chairman, Captain Steve Wallach, as saying, "There they go again. The management at United should be trying to improve conditions for passengers, not finding back-handed ways to charge them more." Wallach also suggested that perhaps United could focus less on executive bonuses. The United move follows by a day or two a move by Frontier to begin charging $15 for a first piece of checked luggage.