American to add $15 fee for first checked bag; others sure to follow; other fees hiked. Yikes!

George Hobica, May 21, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    And the fees just keep on coming!

    Customers who purchase domestic economy class tickets on or after May 12, 2008 but before June 15, 2008 may check one bag for free and check a second bag for $25 each way. But, if you purchase domestic economy class tickets on or after June 15, 2008 you will be charged $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag. 

    There are some exceptions:

    • Customers traveling on an international itinerary to destinations beyond the U.S., the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, or Canada
    • Customers who purchase full-fare tickets in Economy Class
    • Customers who purchase Business or First Class tickets
    • Customers flying on AA codeshare flights not operated by American Airlines, American Eagle or AmericanConnection®
    • Customers traveling on government or military fares
    • Military passengers on active duty
    • AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum® or AAdvantage Gold® members
    • oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby members
    • Customers flying on the same reservation as an AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold member or oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby member regardless of frequent flier status or fare type (not applicable to group bookings)
    • AAnytime® Economy Class AAdvantage award tickets, MileSAAver(SM) or AAnytime First and Business Class AAdvantage award tickets
    • First and Business Class upgrades confirmed prior to check in
    • AAirpass travel

    In addition, AA has upped the charge for additional checked bags:

    For flights within the United States the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada:

    • $100 per piece for the 3rd, 4th and 5th checked bags
    • $200 per piece for the 6th checked bag and any additional pieces

    More info from AA.com

    And the pet in cabin fee has been increased $20 each way to $100.

    So here's not atypical scenario:

    You found a $98 RT fare between Chicago and Kansas city on American, and you're bringing Fluffy into the cabin with you and checking two bags. You can now add $280 to your credit card, almost three times the cost of your ticket!

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