Airline Baggage Fees: Another One Bites the Dust

Northwest Airlines (NWA) has officially joined the ranks of airlines that charge for the privilege of checking luggage. Their new policy calls for a $15 fee on the first checked bag, a $25 fee on the second bag, and a $100 fee for the third bag (and beyond). This policy is in effect for tickets sold on or after July 10th for flights originating on or after August 28th. Elite frequent flyer members and those that purchase full-fare tickets are exempt.

Starting September 15th, NWA will also start charging for the redemption frequent flyer miles. It will cost $25 for domestic flight, $50 for a transatlantic flight, and $100 for a transpacific flight. Finally, they are also increasing their fees for making changes to non-refundable ticket by $50.

While Northwest refers to these fees as “temporary, ” this doesn’t bode well for fans of Delta Airlines (DAL) — the two companies recently agreed to merge and will operate in the future under the Delta name.

Related: How to pack your luggage like a pro

11 Responses to “Airline Baggage Fees: Another One Bites the Dust”

  1. Anonymous

    Yet one more reason why we take the train everywhere. These airlines are going to run themselves right out of business, even with the millions (or is it billions?) that the Govt. gives them in subsidies.

  2. Anonymous

    I’d recommend just charging an overweight surcharge. As a matter of fact, it should be based off the idea that if you are going to take up half my seat, you should just buy my seat too and I’ll be booked somewhere else. If I can’t put the arm rest down while you’re in your seat then surcharge applies.

  3. Anonymous

    How long until we start paying for how much we weigh? That would be interesting, I wonder how they would sell it? BMI or just weight?

    I also am hating the fact that since they are charging for bags, they will end up forcing so many people to have TONS of carry on!! Arrgh.

  4. Anonymous

    I can see this being a little positive in that perhaps it will get people thinking twice about over-packing, at least for those who know about the fee and travel enough to remember that it will be charged.

    As someone who already travels 40k+ miles a year, I have to travel carry-on only as it just takes wayyyy too much time to check and pick-up luggage between conference calls and blackberry usage through the terminal on the way to a cab and the next meeting! It sucks when there’s no room in the overhead bins, but it’s not a big deal… the attendant usually can make room and worst case they just check it at the door (which has never happened to me).

  5. Anonymous

    The airlines are sticking it to us anyway they can!

    I recently flew first class from D.C. to New Orleans (company ticket). It’s roughly a two hour flight that left at 5pm local time. There was no meal, or snack served on the flight. My company paid an extra $500 for a 3″ wider seat for my skinny a$$.

    The planes are still way overbooked, the terminals are crowded. I do not understand why they just don’t raise the price of their fares? It’s ridiculous!

    Flying used to be fun, even as short as 6 years ago! It really sucks now!!

  6. Anonymous

    I’d love to see ticket prices by the pound. Aa an average sized female who pays the same price for a ticket as everyone else I don’t like it when an overweight person or even someone with broad shoulders spills over into my area. Price ’em by the pound and it might even help people to lose some weight.

  7. Nickel

    Kevin: I agree to a point. Unfortunately, as many have pointed out, the workaround for this will be for people to try to carry more stuff onto the plane. It probably won’t be long until they crack down on carry-ons. If they’re really worried about weight, they price tickets by the pound. The heavier you are, the more you pay.

  8. Anonymous

    Everything in moderation. I actually like the policy. At least I know that my own actions result in me paying more as opposed to having them just raise my ticket price by $100 and say “don’t worry about it.”

    But my guess is that the price of the ticket is going up another “Ben Franklin” in any event. Gas prices are changing EVERYTHING!!!

  9. Anonymous

    Not only will everyone be cramming enormous carry-ons into the overhead bins, but it will take twice as long to board and leave the plane. Remember a few years ago when the guy had the liquid bomb on the plane and for about 2 weeks no one was allowed to bring anything on a commercail plane? Airlines were amazed at how quickly people got on and off the plane when they had no carry-on baggage allowing their flights to depart on-time. Go figure.

  10. Anonymous

    God help us. Now to save $25, people will be trying to stuff their life possessions in the overheads, 2x deep so they can have that nice footroom. Damn all the unlucky #$!$! behind them that have *NOWHERE* to put their luggage.

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