Potential Kinks in AA's New Bag Fee Plan

Tracy Stewart, May 23, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I've noticed before that when you're in the last boarding group and there's no room in the overhead racks, that the flight attendants will offer to check your bag in. Of course, that was before American Airline's new $15 check-in policy. Now what happens when the situation I described occurs?

    A. Good question!  We imagine those often ignored carry-on guidelines will now be strictly enforced, with passengers being asked to squeeze their carry-ons into those tiny metal size-guideline contraptions, the ones that no one ever uses. Will they go the route of European low cost carriers, with a scale to see if your carry-on bag is overweight, and charge you for that too? Will there be enough room in the overhead bins for everyone trying to avoid the fee? Maybe the flight crew will be equipped with charge card swipers, and bill you from the cabin, if bags prove too bulky for the overhead.  We have a feeling this may not work out  very smoothly and that maybe AA hasn't thought this through entirely.

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