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July 30th, 2008
04:30 PM ET

Major airlines, major increases, major pains

Hundreds of bags wait to be checked at New York's Kennedy Airport Wednesday. The  baggage system was not functioning, delaying some flights and others to take off without baggage.
Hundreds of bags wait to be checked at New York's Kennedy Airport Wednesday. The baggage system was not functioning, delaying some flights and others to take off without baggage.

Gary Tuchman
AC360° correspondent

The major airlines (with the notable and commendable exception of Southwest) are in a feeding frenzy to not only implement, but continue raising the price of checked luggage. Fuel prices are high, but they've gone up in dramatic fashion before in the age of air travel, so trotting that out as the reason for these fees doesn't inspire one to feel pity for the industry.

What is apparent is that the airlines are sticking together. If one of the majors decided to make 2 checked bags free again, there would be pressure on the others to re-adjust.

Either way, here is something to think about. If your luggage doesn't arrive on your flight, and instead ends up late or lost, shouldn't you be entitled to a refund?

Remarkably, there are no provisions for that. If you pay 125 dollars for a third checked bag and it gets lost, you are still responsible for the 125 dollars! With that logic, no wonder the industry is in so much trouble.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Gary Tuchman
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Jenn/Monrovia CA

    Fly Southwest, it will make your life easier.

    July 31, 2008 at 1:26 am |
  2. Megan Dresslar

    I agree with Lorie Ann....... you made me more laugh!!! ;) LOL!!!!

    July 31, 2008 at 12:33 am |
  3. Willie

    Maybe the reason Congress doesn't wants to move off-shore drillingis before it's break is because the oil compamies are not utilizing existing leases (all smoke and mirrors)!

    Will
    Colorado

    July 30, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  4. CaseyJPS

    Here's something else to think about. when dealing with an airline.

    Any of us could be stuck with a worthless ticket or worthless frequent flier miles in a blink of an eye. Don't bother buying the travel insurance some airlines offer when you buy your ticket. Most of these policies will not protect you if an airline goes out of business. This exclusion can be found in the fine print of any airline-peddled insurance policy. However, by purchasing from a travel insurance company, it is possible to be protected. In other words, the same insurance company policy sold to you by the airline doesn't protect you as thoroughly as when you buy that policy directly from the insurance company itself. Credit cards still offer a line of defense. You can always dispute a charge within 60 days of it appearing on your statement.

    July 30, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  5. CaseyJPS

    Most airlines contracts (now) virtually eliminate any liability if bags are lost or damaged. So, the airlines collect $ to offer the service of transporting your baggage and then they have almost no responsibility! This is criminal and needs to be investigated by the government.

    July 30, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  6. Heather,CA,US

    My Dad converted well alot of his airline miles with his credit card to hotel room points. He said he plans on doing that with his other cards. He just enjoyed a free trip at a Marriott hotel in OC Cal. They even washed his car everyday for free!

    July 30, 2008 at 9:55 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    Expecting good customer service and a customer focus from any company these days is a futile endeavor. The airlines don't care if your bags get to where you are going; they probably don't care if the clothes on your back get their either – they just want their money. I wonder what they will decide to charge for next.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 30, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  8. Melissa, Los Angeles

    LOL thanks for the laugh Lorie Ann!

    July 30, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  9. Megan Dresslar

    Gary,
    I agree with bloggers!!!!!! I thought about that we can't afford to pay fee $50 dollars all the suitcases???? no way. I can't do that to pay fee $50 dollars....... Mazybe I need a vacation like cheap fee $20 dollars.
    I am so happy to see you last night!!!!! you are doing great!
    Megan D
    Shoreline, Wa

    July 30, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  10. Mari, Salt Lake City

    No surprise, our airline industry is in a world of hurt!

    July 30, 2008 at 7:03 pm |
  11. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hey Gary!
    Defying gravity just ain't what it used to be. ugh~
    I don't do it if I don't have to.
    It's become "Wicked". ;-)
    Thanks!

    July 30, 2008 at 6:54 pm |
  12. Sharon from Indy

    Gary:
    I think it would cost less to snail mail your luggage to your destination and then remail it home instead of checking it and paying extra cost for additional luggage. I wonder how much it would cost to mail one normal bag?

    I would consider it if I was taking a long vacation. But then again, who can afford a vacation much less a long one?

    July 30, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  13. Jim S

    As for me- the joke is on the airlines- You WILL NOT get MY Bussiness- EVER- Lets see how long you can last without customers.

    July 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  14. Dheeraj Jumani

    I work at JFK as well and one thing they could have done is when pasanger handed there bags they could have name tags on them and there flight # so they bags could have been send to TSA and then right to the Plane but ha American Airlines are the who should things of such back up plan.

    July 30, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  15. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    I guess flying by the seat of your pants, takes on a whole new meaning..What will the airline industry dream up next?

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    July 30, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  16. Renee

    Gary:

    Space bags are the key! You must try them!

    July 30, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  17. EJ (USA)

    Maybe FedEx and UPS can start a new line in their shipping business – people who'd rather be shipped as cargo than pay to travel on today's airlines.

    Hi Gary – Hope you are doing well!

    July 30, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  18. Heather

    I think flying is slowly going back to what it started out to be. A luxury for those who can afford it. If you are smart you know you have a better track record with fedex or ups and ship your luggage of course you hope that the hotel knows what to do with it.

    July 30, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  19. jaynee

    My sister's family recently flew to California and she had to pay the $50 fee for having a heavy bag. We immediately advised her to go ahead and UPS a big box of her stuff back to Virginia rather than put it in the suitcase. Much cheaper to send a big box for $20 via UPS (with tracking!) than to pay $50 to check a heavy bag.

    July 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  20. Ayse - London England

    I bet all the flight crew fly WITH their luggage and Duty Free goodies.

    July 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  21. Cindy

    Gary,
    Every airline is just in it to try to get the most money out of us that they can. So they look for any reason what so ever to raise prices. This gas thing is just what they have been waiting on to stick it to us good!

    Cindy...Ga.

    July 30, 2008 at 4:34 pm |