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Allegiant Air to levy carry-on bag fees

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  April 3, 2012 10:06 AM

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Another domino in the run toward carry-on baggage fees for all.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air will hit passengers with a $35 fee per flight for carry-on luggage stowed in overhead bins starting Wednesday, becoming the second airline to levy such charges. Spirit Airlines began charging for use of the overhead bin two years ago.

Amid the weak economy and surging fuel costs over the past half dozen years, airlines have increasingly created fees for all kinds of formerly free services and have seen that additional revenue become a larger piece of the overall pie. Baggage fees were one of the first. Currently among the major airlines only Southwest allows travelers to check two free bags; JetBlue spots you one.

In response passengers have scrambled to adjust, leaving the carriers to adjust to a rising tide of carry-on luggage. Airlines have noticed, and many have turned early boarding -- so early access to overhead bins -- into another billable perk. And many travel pundits believe that it will only be a matter of time before carry-ons will cost.

The new policy by Allegiant, a lower-cost carrier that predominantly flies to Sunbelt tourist areas, still allows passengers to bring aboard a small personal bag that must fit under the seat. Larger carry-ons, with a maximum weight of 25 pounds, will trigger the new fee. Heavier bags must be checked and will be subject to a $35 fee if done at the airport and $15 to $30 if done online. Allegiant does not offer service from Logan International Airport.

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