May 22, 2008
American Airlines to Implement New Luggage Policies Just to Annoy Us Into Driving
Posted by Christine Hurt

In the next two weeks, I am traveling on American Airlines twice:  once with my daughter to Montreal for the Law & Society Conference and once with my family of five to Washington D.C.  We return on June 9.  Whew.  On June 15, American is going to begin charging a $30 fee to check your bag round-trip if you are flying coach.  Second bags cost $50 round-trip.  Third bags cost $200 round-trip.  Yikes.  For our family's American History tour of Washington D.C., Gettsyburg and Northern Virginia for a week, this would easily cost us an additional $120 for all ticketed passengers to bring one bag, and another $50 for an additional bag I'm sure we'll need for the baby's paraphrenalia.  Then I began to hyperventilate because we have to take a car seat and a stroller.  Thankfully, the policy does not include car seats and strollers, or we'd be out another $100.  So, if we could keep our stuff down to five bags for the five of us, our additional cost would be a mere $170.  (If they were going to charge $100 for car seats and strollers, I'd start a business renting these items right outside airports just like the Cracker Barrel books-on-tape program.)

Aside from just the annoyance of the extra costs (and don't try to suggest that we try to carry-on these five bags, hauling them through the airport with three kids in two), this NYT article asks the most important question:  How, when and where will they collect this charge?  If you go to the ticket counter to check your bag, then the attendant will just accept your payment there, slowing down the ticket line considerably.  And what of all those who check in at home, because they are just carrying on?  As this policy is implemented, everyone will try to carry on more and more luggage.  Then, just as you (who paid $170 at the ticket counter an hour ago) are trying to board, there will be a line of people in the gateway with their oversized bags trying to figure out how to pay the $15 one-way charge.  If the flight attendants don't have change for a $10 for a $5 sandwich, then how are they going to manage these transactions?  American will have to arm them with credit card readers, and that's going to be speedy.  Or, American will have to require everyone to check in, so they can make sure that all bags either fit or have been checked and charged.  Nice.  And let's not forget the overflow at the gateway when every single passenger has a carry on bag, so overhead space disappeared with "Group 1."  I hope that someone looked to see whether these charges are actually worth the extra costs.

OK, enough ranting for me.  I guess I should just be happy planes still fly into Champaign-Urbana.

Travel | Bookmark

TrackBacks (0)

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Links to weblogs that reference American Airlines to Implement New Luggage Policies Just to Annoy Us Into Driving:

Recent Comments
Popular Threads
Search The Glom
The Glom on Twitter
Archives by Topic
Archives by Date
January 2019
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Miscellaneous Links