Delta to begin Northwest’s bigger bag fees

delta_bags.jpgOver at Delta, they’re using the takeover last week of Northwest Airlines to justify “an alignment and harmonization” of policies. This means that Delta, the last big holdout among network carriers on charging a fee for a first bag, will begin doing so, starting in December. It will charge $15 for the first bag and $25 for a second bag. This isn’t all bad because it’s half off the current second bag fee of $50; the usual elites are exempted. Steve Gorman, Delta’s chief operating officer, says customers aren’t making a differentiation between the airline and its fee-charging rivals. Delta also cut some other fees, like buying a ticket over the phone, which drops from $25 to $20, so it’s REALLY not all bad.

United retreats, again. The airline, which did a skin-back on its ill-conceived plan to charge for hot meals on its long-distance international flights, has again been forced to back down. Back in July, it said it was ending so-called minimum awards for frequent flyers and, instead of giving 500 miles per segment, would give them the actual miles flown. But like other carriers – Continental for one – that have been forced to back off the move, United now says that members of the elite levels of its Mileage Plus frequent flyer plan will still get the 500-mile minimum. United also said it was raising fees for non-elites to redeem points.

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