Over the past decade airlines have cut back on included items and begun charging for most extras including pillows, blankets, and food. They even tried to charge for non-alcoholic beverages (which flopped thankfully). With the decline of the economy came a new fee – one for checked baggage.
Luggage Fees – the Beginning
The luggage fee was supposedly to offset skyrocketing fuel prices a couple of years ago. Fuel prices have dropped a significant percentage from the all-time high but the charges have remained. They have not only remained but increased with the most recent round just going into effect raising many from $20 for the first bag to $25.
AS this chart shows this seems to be primarily a domestic airline trend. Only Jet Blue and Southwest Airlines check any free bags and even Jet Blue charges for the second.
Does this change passenger behavior? It changed ours. Mr. Boomer and I decided to cruise locally for our Spring vacation primarily to avoid flying. A 10 day cruise requires more than one carry-on a piece and would add up to $240 for four bags round trip.
During my emergency trip due to mom’s hospitalization last month the cheapest option was American Airlines. I refused to pay $50 in luggage fee and carried on. Yes, it was inconvenient to drag my suitcase around the Dallas airport but it was more important to have that money for other things.
Normally, I will choose other airlines over Southwest for longer flights due to the entertainment options and assigned seating. Not anymore; these perks aren’t worth $120 per person (they need to update their price in the video below). This limits destinations to those cities seved by SWA.
Are other passengers making the same decisions? Time will tell but I wonder if the airlines have gone too far this time.
Content © Bucksomeboomer 2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.