Skip to comments.Airline fees reach $450 mark, USA TODAY survey finds
Posted on 09/21/2011 9:35:59 AM PDT by Mountain Bike Vomit Carnage
The era of the $400 airline fee has arrived.
For an overweight checked bag weighing 71-100 pounds, Continental Airlines is charging $400 on most international flights, and American Airlines is charging $450 on its Asian flights. United Airlines charges $400 for checking bags weighing 71-99.9 pounds on flights to another continent.
AIRLINE FEES CHART: What you'll pay to check a bag, change your ticket, more
Those are the most expensive fees that airlines charge fliers, a new USA TODAY survey of what 13 U.S. carriers charge for services available to coach passengers has found. The survey also found:
Fees for a first checked bag, which were nominal when airlines began them four years ago, now go up to $43. Spirit Airlines charges $38 for a domestic flight and $43 for an international flight for the first bag checked in at an airport.
Fees charged for the same service vary widely. Frontier Airlines charges $50 to change an international ticket, while Delta Air Lines and United charge five times that.
Most airlines have a charge for booking a "free" frequent-flier award ticket on the phone, and some charge fliers who do the work themselves online. US Airways has the highest "free" ticket booking fees: $55-$90 for a phone reservation and $25-$50 online.
Spirit Airlines is the only carrier charging for carry-on bags. Spirit fliers pay $30 for notifying the airline online about a carry-on bag, $35 when calling on the telephone and $40 at the airport.
Some airlines have eliminated discounts for paying a fee online. Continental, Delta, United and US Airways last year offered a $2 or $3 savings for fliers who arranged online to check a bag, but they're no longer offering the discounts.
The survey which USA TODAY has done the last four years seeks to make the fees transparent to fliers, many of whom complain they can't determine them in advance of a flight or have difficulty comparing them between airlines.
In response to complaints, the Transportation Department imposed a rule last month that requires airlines to disclose all fees for optional services with a prominent link on their websites. They also must disclose bag-fee increases on the home page or through a link on the page.
The airlines say fees keep airfares low, help cover costs and let fliers choose the services they want. American Airlines' $450 fee for checking bags of 71-100 pounds on Asian flights was established to cover fuel costs and to discourage passengers from checking in heavy bags, spokesman Tim Smith says. The airline doesn't allow such bags on its Europe and India flights.
so basically, they have crunched the peopl into smaller seating to make room for more luggage
I had the opportunity to go to Europe a few months ago, no charge for bags going but 100 euros each coming back.
British Airways going, United coming back.
good thing obama put new regulations on the airlines...that really has worked out well for consumers, hasn’t it? Just like the banking regulations.
Most airline bags are limited to 50 lbs before any sur-charges are incurred. The goal here, folks, is to weigh your bags and make sure that they do not go over 50 lbs. In most cases, if you have lots of stuff to pack - it may be cheaper to take 2 bags weighin 49.9 lbs than 1 bag weighing 99.8 lbs.
Or, I guess you could ship them Fed-Express.
Fee is the new tax.
now cheaper to take no luggage and simply buy your clothing there.
$450 for an overweight bag? Depending where you’re going, may be cheaper just to buy the bag a seat of its own!
It seems that it might be better to dress in layers, stuff clean underwear into your pockets and buy whatever clothes you need...... once you arrive at your destination.
F’em. If I have to do any more international travel, I’m drivin.
good luck with that! Im sure Eurpoe and Asia are easy drives right?
As weight is a rather important variable in fuel costs, why not just charge based on what a passenger (plus bags) weighs?
I just checked. It would cost me $500 to ship a 75lb bag from Albuquerque for pick up at the Frankfurt Airport via FedEX. It might just be worth it.
Why wait until you arrive at your destination? Just stuff clean underwear into your pockets all the time. What if you get hit by a bus? My mother always worried about me getting hit by a bus. Never a car or truck, always a bus. What, do bus drivers drive around looking for kids with dirty underwear to hit? “Always wear clean underwear,” She’d say. “What if you get hit by a bus?” That’s how they could tell the kids with good mothers at the emergency room.
“Oh...look....this one has on new Fruit-Of-The-Looms. He’s got a good mother.”
“Brown striper on this one. His mother should be in jail.”
United will keep raising fees until finally its customers stop flying Southwest.
LOL... I used to be told the same thing.
Folks, this is for bags over 70 pounds. The normal max domestically is 50, and that’s a big, heavy bag.
Watch those airline fees after the new government fee hikes ahead.
“so basically, they have crunched the peopl into smaller seating to make room for more luggage”
You have things backwards.
The purpose of the extra long-distance luggage fees is to DISCOURAGE passengers from taking extra and/or overweight luggage.
They - the passenger airlines - are not “making more money” on the luggage fees, than they are passengers. Airlines that want to transport just luggage and care not to attract and carry passengers go by the names FEDEX and UPS.
Weight is weight, and more weight uses more fuel. The more luggage and the more extra and overweight luggage that has to be loaded on a passenger plane the more fuel it will consume; more fuel than if it carried passengers with no more than “carry on” bags.
The attempt to discourage extra and overweight luggage - with higher fees for them - on passenger airlines is an attempt to help keep passenger regular fare hikes down and passenger amenities from being further reduced; which every bit of extra weight helps cause with today’s increasing fuel costs.
I have been flying regularly for over four decades. Given inflation, and particularly given the rise in jet fuel costs in the past five years alone, U.S. passenger airline regular passenger fees have actually risen less than many other things in the U.S. economy.
Extra luggage fees and “over-weight” luggage fees are perfect free market solutions. They pass on directly to those passengers that want to add “extra weight” more of the direct costs for that weight, instead of just raising even more the regular fares for everyone.
The following link has some excellent charts on what has been happening to the airlines’ fuel costs; the leading cause of various targeted “surcharges” by the airlines, directed at ways to reduce “extra” weight, conserve fuel and help reduce the impact of higher fuel costs.
If you still think the luggage fees are too high, go start your own airline company, and set your fares to pass on to every passenger the costs for extra and over weight bags.
I flew round trip, coast to coast, in the last month, flying economy class both ways. I have to add that I cannot remember having more comfortable economy class seats. (And I have flown the cattle cars in the skies of the 1970s, on the majors.)
“Or, I guess you could ship them Fed-Express.”
I had a recent coast-to-coast round trip.
I needed to take two bags that were both too big for “carry on” status, though neither one weighed 50+ pounds.
I considered shipping one of them.
However, my airlines (United/Continental one way and USAir on the return), charge $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second.
Fedex wanted approx $40 for sending one. I would have liked to Fedex the two bags I needed to check and travel only with the small carry-on bag I had. Given all the extra logistics of sending and receiving the bags shipped via Fedex, I decided the extra $20 dollars ($80 for two bags instead of $60 for two bags) was not worth it.
I wonder if Fedex could be missing a marketing opportunity here. Then again, with jet fuel costs being what they are, and with most passenger luggage items weighing more, on a cubic inch basis, than the average package shipped via Fedex, and weight being the biggest factor in fuel costs, a profit margin on luggage may not really be there.
Your mom was right. First thing we look for in the ER are skid marks or stinky britches.....