As airlines run out of new fees the old fees go up


What used to cost US$20 for the first checked bag and US$30 for the second, will now cost you US$25 and US$35, repectively, on American Airlines beginning on February 1, 2010. And you can be sure that once one airline hikes its fees, the others will soon follow suit.

The charges apply to travel within the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands on American Airlines, American Eagle, and AmericanConnection flights.

American’s checked bag charges will be payable at the airport on the day of travel. As before, American’s top customers are exempt from these checked bag charges, because they have already chosen to pay a premium to fly. Among the exemptions are American’s elite AAdvantage┬« members, full-fare customers, confirmed passengers in the First or Business Class cabin, those traveling on military fares, and other travelers booked on the same record locator as the premium customer.

American said about 25 percent of its domestic customers pay checked bag charges, with other customers either exempt from the charge or choosing to not check a bag while abiding by American’s normal carry-on policies.