Full-fare airlines raising baggage fees again

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The nation’s airlines are looking for more ways to get in your pocket. The latest effort by Delta and Continental involves raising baggage fees to the point that they may exceed some tickets!

The first checked bag will be $25 ($23 if you do it online) and the second somewhere in the $30 range depending on airline.

Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, still lets your first 2 checked bags fly free. Nor will this discount airline charge you to change a trip once you’ve booked. Perhaps that’s why Southwest keeps gaining more market share while the full-fare airlines watch their shares shrink.

Think Southwest is crazy? Well, they must be crazy like a fox. Customers who may be on the cusp about taking a trip are probably more likely to book because they know they won’t get hit with a fee to change a ticket.

Nobody knows if Southwest will continue with no baggage fees, but it certainly has made for some strong imaging for them. You can see their “no baggage fees” commercials on constant rotation during the NFL playoff games.

But what if Southwest doesn’t serve the markets you need? There’s still one way to avoid baggage fees on the full-fare airlines: Don’t check a bag! Clark only travels with what an airline permits free as a single carry-on — usually a 22x14x8 piece of luggage. That way he never worries about the airline losing his baggage, either!

Just be sure you follow the carry-on rules of your airline to the letter. During the Christmas season, Clark saw a woman with a single carry-on and a shopping bag in her hand. They would not permit her to take both on. The woman had words with an airline representative who was extremely rude, and she was made to pay the baggage fee in the end.



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