Friday, June 06, 2008

Bag fee - not so bad

Recently American Airlines' announcement of a $15 bag fee for most passengers set off quite a news storm. Seems people are pretty ticked off about something they think should be free.

I am a big fan of the idea. There are two reasons this is a good thing.

First, airlines are losing money hand over fist. If they don't raise fares and all of that, they'll be out of business soon. Complaining when they do simply misunderstands basic economics.

But the bag fee is a good thing in and of itself. Checking bags and putting them on the bottom of the plane is a costly endeavor. Airlines pay for it and have simply built the costs into the price of tickets for years. The problem is that since it never cost anything, people could check a bag for free, even though it increased costs for the airlines. Sometimes, people would check multiple bags. Ever gone on an LA to anywhere-in-Latin-America flight?

This means that all passengers are splitting the costs for the passengers that check bags.

Now, with those that check bags paying, the airline will not have to increase fares as much for the other passengers.

And now that I am quickly becoming a seasoned traveler (I already have enough points to get about 8 free tickets), I am learning it's really not that hard to pack it on a carry-on.

So while it's a general bummer that airlines have to charge more, be grateful that American, which is based out of Dallas by the way, at least got the bag charge right.

Expect other airlines to follow soon, and embrace it.


Blogger Vanessa said...

Haha, oh wow...the LA to Guatemala flight was RIDICULOUS. Baggage mountains on carts.

9:05 AM  

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