Virgin America will charge $15 for a first checked bag on travel from 5 May, following similar actions by US legacy carriers and a low-cost airlines.
The San Francisco-based startup is reviewing all operations as it posted a fourth quarter 2008 operating loss of $27 million after losing roughly $174 million for the first three quarters of the year.
"Because we fly to primary airports, we mainly compete with the large network carriers--all of whom already charge this fee. We're following the trend in domestic travel both here and abroad, in order to keep fares low, while continuing to offer the highest quality product in the U.S. market," Virgin America VP of planning and sales Diana Walke says in a statement.
Delta Air Lines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and AirTran Airways have a $15 first checked bag fee. Sun Country Airlines charges $12.