The major airline at Philadelphia International Airport, with over 60% of all passengers, has announced that starting on May 5 they will be charging $25 to check a second bag. Who is it? US Airways. Can you believe it? This is the same airline that has been notorious for its poor baggage handling across the nation but especially in Philadelphia.
Just a couple of years ago my wife’s cousin was flying from Hartford to Florida with a layover in Philadelphia. Not only was her flight from Philadelphia delayed, but her luggage was part of the huge pyramid of luggage that lasted for days in the baggage claim area. It totally ruined her Florida trip.
US Airways is mirroring an action taken earlier this year by United Airlines who also announced a $25 charge for a second checked bag. I suppose we can expect all of the other major carriers to follow suit soon. For a couple each with two bags, that’s an extra $100 per trip.
This charge will not apply to frequent fliers who traveled more than 25,000 miles a year, first- or business-class customers, active-duty military personnel in uniform, unaccompanied minors, or those checking assistive devices, such as a wheelchair. In other words, it’s a family flying for vacation that will be stuck paying the cost which is supposedly to offset the increased cost of fuel.
I fly often from Philadelphia to Hawaii in my second job as Guide to Hawaii and the South Pacific here at About.com. It was bad enough when the airlines stopped providing food, especially on long flights. The snack boxes they all sell for about $5 are total junk. Then the government clamped down on liquids which meant that if you wanted to pack your own meal and carry it onboard with an ice pack, you could no longer bring the ice pack since it will melt and become liquid.
So what’s next? A extra charge for a window or aisle seat? An extra charge for all passengers over 200 pounds? It’s gotten totally out of control in my opinion. The government and courts cut all of these airlines a break when they went into bankruptcy just a few years ago. When they wrote off all of their debt, the whole economy suffered.