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American Airlines & Virgin America

Airlines changing baggage fees again

eTN Staff Writer  Aug 21, 2009

Airlines collected about US$566 million in baggage fees in the first three months of 2009, up from about US$123 million in the same period last year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That's an increase of over 360 percent. Today, both American Airlines and Virgin America announced new baggage fees looming on the near horizon, which they like to call "changes."

American Airlines

American Airlines is implementing revisions to its baggage policy for customers traveling between certain locations in Europe, India and the United States, including US territories such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The revised policy takes effect for tickets purchased on or after September 14, 2009. The changes apply to transatlantic travelers on any flight operated by American Airlines for travel to, from, or through India, as well as the following European countries - Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

Customers who purchase certain economy class tickets on or after the effective date will be able to check one bag for free and will pay US$50 for a second checked bag.

Virgin America

Virgin America today announced that effective for all bookings made on or after August 21, 2009, for travel starting on or after September 10, 2009, the airline has changed its baggage fee to a flat US$20 rate for all checked items (excluding the first and second bag for first class travelers; and the first bag for main cabin select and refundable fare travelers.)

Previously, the airline's fee was US$15 for these checked items. Beginning today, any main cabin guest who books a non-refundable ticket for travel starting on or after September 10, 2009, will be charged a flat rate of US$20 for each checked bag (US$20 for a first checked bag and US$20 for the second through the tenth checked bag.) Guests who purchased Virgin America tickets before today or who book and travel before September 10, 2009, will be charged per the airline's previous bag fee rate. Guests can pay checked bag charges when they check in at airport kiosks, on-line or at any airport ticket counter.

Airlines changing baggage fees again
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