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United, US Airways joins American, to start charging for 1st checked bag

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  June 12, 2008 06:14 PM

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Not a big surprise, but United and US Airways have decided to join rival American and start charging many customers $15 to check even one bag.
United, which said it was considering making the change when American announced its move last month, also plans to increase fees to check three or more bags, overweight luggage, or items that need special handling from $100 to $125 or from $200 to $250 depending on the item.
US Airways, which also plans to start charging domestic coach customers $2 for nonalcoholic drinks Aug. 1, detailed other cuts, including trimming its domestic schedule as much as 8 percent by year's end and axing 1,700 jobs.
The $25 fee that both carriers charge for a second checked bag will not change.
United's new policy will apply starting June 13 for passengers who buy seats for domestic travel and starting Aug. 18 for those headed to and from Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
Exempt will be travelers flying United First, United Business, and those who have premier status with either United for the Star Alliance. Here are more details.
US Airways' new baggage fee will apply to tickets booked on or after July 9 for domestic flights and those to and from Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The airline will exempt Dividend Miles Preferred members, First Class and Envoy passengers, Star Alliance Silver and Gold status members, military personnel on active duty, unaccompanied minors, and passengers checking assistive devices. Here are the details.
All this should come as no shock. Sit tight. There will be others

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6 comments so far...
  1. this blows looks like i need to get premier status

    Posted by Joe June 12, 08 01:44 PM
  1. Why not start charging by people weight? 150 lbs. vs. 350 lbs?

    Posted by Allison June 12, 08 02:17 PM
  1. They should just go whole-hog and start charging by total weight (person + baggage). America needs to slim down anyway.

    Posted by Pat June 12, 08 02:18 PM
  1. the only problem with premier status is that you have to fly all over the country a lot to get it. This is going to kill those of us with families that like to fly somewhere to take a vacation. It is going to be so much cheaper to drive there and pay for the gas. It will come out a lot less than using the airline. This is now going to mean that the planes will mainly used by business folks, and a lot of us are now going to be told to do more business using Webex instead of face to face.

    Posted by KR June 12, 08 02:26 PM
  1. Let me get this straight. We are now going to PAY them to lose our bags? I don't think so....

    Posted by DP June 12, 08 02:58 PM
  1. If you've flown in the last 2 years, you've noticed the insane number of people bringing "carry-on" bags onto the plane. There's not enough room for these bags now, and it will be even worse when airlines start charging to check a bag. If you've ever tried to quickly get off a plane in order to catch a connection flight at one of the ridiculous airline "hubs", you'll understand my frustration. People aren't bringing on a small carry-on that takes up minimal space - they're bringing on full suitcases that don't really fit and then they end up fighting with flight attendants and fellow passengers when they don't fit overhead and slow down the boarding and disembarking of a flight.

    And hope that you're not that person running from a connection only to find the overhead space is totally gone and now you need to do a Gate Check...

    Posted by LT June 12, 08 03:35 PM
 
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