Airlines’ Checked Bags Policy

There is no business quite like or more annoying than the airline business. It is the ultimate in sticking it to the customer and passing costs along to the customer. But now I will add it’s the ultimate in nickel and diming people to death. OK, I understand that fuel is at an all time high. However, I also understand that nearly every flight I have flown on in the past 3 years has been sold out or overbooked and there are far less flights and airlines than there used to be. I also understand that fares are as expensive as they’ve ever been too. So explain to me how the airlines are losing money…please, I don’t get it. But the last straw for me is this stupid new checked bags policy that American and now United have adopted.

I rarely check bags but if I do I expect to be able to check a bag or two and that be the end of it. But that will no longer be the case. American Airlines, in all their infinite wisdom has decided to annoy the hell out of its customers and charge for checking bags-and it’s not exactly pocket change either. They are going to charge $15 each way for the first bag and $25 each way for the second bag. And just in case you are doing a big trip they will charge $100 each way for the third, etc. So that means that if you check three bags for a round trip domestic flight-you will pay an additional $280 at the check in counter. Hows that sit with you?

Additionally, this will also significantly slow up check in lines at the airport. Imagine the arguments that will ensue if they tell you that you can’t carry something on that you normally do and you have to check it and pay $30. What happens when someone forgets to pack some suntan lotion or toothpaste in a little baggy and put it in their checked baggage and they catch you with it at the screeners. They tell you to throw it away or check the bag and you don’t want to do either-thats an argument I just had at the airport-which as you’d imagine, I lost and had to throw both toothpaste and lotion away because I didn’t want to go back and check the bag.

However, luckily for us, American has outlined exceptions to the checked bag policy! You don’t have to pay to check a childs car seat or stroller-Sweet! Disabled people do not have to pay to check their wheelchairs which is very thoughtful of the airlines, yet they make fat people buy two seats-go figure. If your family of four is going skiing for the weekend…those skis are going to cost you big time-$25 each way times 4, excluding of course your other checked bags which will up the total for sure.

Now they are being nice and allowing people with status on the airlines not have to pay for checking bags. However, that seems counterproductive to me in that it would be discouraging new business. If I had to fly to Los Angeles and American had a non stop flight from New York but I had no status and I had to check two bags or United for the same price, had a connection and I have status with them: I would certainly strongly consider taking the connection to save the extra $80 in fees and American would in fact lose my business. That seems to make sense to me and I am sure a lot of people would do that as well.

While I’m on the subject of nickel and diming by the airlines: if they are going to charge $5 or whatever for food-can they at least make the sandwiches decent and stop trying to ram those boxes of junk food down our throats-it’s really irritating and unhealthy.

Nobody and I mean nobody has an sympathy for the airlines financial crisis. They are the worst people to deal with in general and as I’ve written several times on this site-they are the only business that can treat their customers like crap and they keep coming back for more. It’s because we have no choice. Unless you have a private jet-you need the airlines and they know it. I can’t tell you how many times I have said I’m never flying American again but I always end up doing it because it’s convenient-sort of, but it’s better than connecting in Atlanta or wherever adding time to your journey.

Basically, I am just sick of the airlines crying foul and passing it onto us-perhaps they should try lowering their executive pay or stop sponsoring NBA arenas which costs a ton. I don’t know what the solution is but I do know that this nickel and diming isn’t going to stop with the checked bags policy…be prepared for paying extra to reserve your seat and other stupid costs down the road. But we will take it and like it (or not) but we will take it nonetheless because we have no choice. God bless the free market.

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  1. Good post–it is BS what they are doing

  2. I am going to start taking the bus cross country

  3. Now that is a rant!! I completely agree, its getting ridiculous. Next they will be charging us for toilet paper in the bathroom or the use of a pillow/blanket.

  4. I didn’t realize it was going to be this bad. Now I’m all wound up about this and will reconsider future travels. The other problem is this causes more work for us because we will have to look at alternative airlines, etc to avoid added costs.

  5. I always say that the thing that pisses me off the most is when countries charge you a separate departure tax when leaving the country, like Costa Rica or Peru for instance. Why don’t they just include it in the price of the ticket like many countries do so your last memory of the country doesn’t annoy you-especially if they make you pay in local currency.

    This is similar because if they just raise ticket prices, it would be annoying but we’d just accept it easier but when they are going to get nitpicky with us and charge us separately for all these little things-thats really irritating. People are more tolerant and receptive to simple price rises than being nickle and dimed for stupid little things bc it just has a bad stigma to it.

    Anerican carriers need to look abroad to see how other countries’ airlines provide excellent service with comfort and for the same affordable prices-I’ve never understood why the US carriers can’t get it right. Almost any other developed country has a flagship carrier that has impeccable service and comfort, especially in Asia.

  6. Good stuff-I love how you tell it how it is bro. American blows and so do all the US airlines. They should look at Cathay, Thai or Singapore and see how airlines should be or even Qantas or Virgin. Virgin should do a hostile takeover of all the US carriers!!!

  7. Just another example of how we are all slaves to the man and we just bend over for him

  8. The airlines aren’t the only ones struggling with fuel costs and the economy-shame on them for charging for bags. They’re only doing that because they know that people will have to pay it. When will it end?

  9. Just add it into the price of the ticket!!! Airlines are run by idiots and not people bc they would know that people hate being scammed to their faces. People accept being ripped off if we dont actually have to see it. I hopee they all go bankrupt.

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