Continental, Delta and United have all followed US Airways lead and raised their checked luggage fees once again. This is at least the second time in the past twelve months that they have done this. As U.S. airlines continue to struggle financially they are finding that ancillary revenue streams such as checked luggage fees are lucrative and what help them keep afloat. The question is how much and how far are the airlines willing to push the customers to pay for these services that used to be free in the past and are still free on some airlines like Southwest and WestJet. Of course the airlines charging the fees hope that the customers become accustomed to the fees and in some ways many have, they want to travel, they need to travel and although they are not happy about it they pay the fees so that they can conduct their business or go on that much needed vacation.
By the way, the latest round of increases see the CO, DL and UA fees go to $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second. Discounts are available for those who prepay online. Elite Members of each airlines frequent flyer programs continue to be exempt from the checked luggage fees.