Carry-on bags charge: Need or…greed?


MIAMI ― Savvy travelers who think they can get around an airline’s new fees for checked bags by just bringing a big carry on may have to come up with a ‘plan B’

American Airlines has started cracking down on the size of the bags passengers stuff into the overhead bins.

“I’m very frustrated because I travel a lot,” said Corrine Celestine.

Air passengers like Celestine say they’re upset that American is now scrutinizing the size of carry on bags and charging an extra fee if the bags are over the stated limit.

“It’s really frustrating, the airlines are complaining about losing money, but if they keep doing this, I will try to get where I’m going without flying, I will,” said Celestine.

Fellow frustrated traveler Chelsea Link agrees that something must be done.

“This morning I was on Delta, I didn’t get charged for checking in two bags but when I switched over to American I was charged fifteen dollars and now if the carry on is to big they want to charge another fifteen, it’s too much, too much,” said Link.

American Airlines and US Airways, along with United Airlines, were the first to announce fees for a single checked bag; $15 each way. Most airlines specify that a carry on bag must be under a certain weight, generally about 40 pounds, and must meet certain size requirements. If the bag is too heavy or too large, American charges the passenger $15 to check it.

The airlines point out that the policy concerning carry on bags came from the Federal Aviation Administration, not the airline industry. American and US Airways say they add extra staff during peak flying times to make sure bulky carry on bags are checked before they are deemed a problem, thus reducing delays for all passengers.

United Airlines says they have not decided how it will handle passengers with oversized carry on bags and US Airways says they will allow passengers to check overweight, or oversized, carry bags at the gate for free.

Not everyone is against the new fees.

Traveler Catherine Coleman believes the new fees are fair.

“We all want to take more with us than we can but we need to do what’s right, what’s fair is fair, we have to change our habits,” said Coleman.