Higher Checked Baggage Fees

Do you favor higher checked luggage fees?

Most airlines claim that their profits are declining because airfares have not increased and fuel costs are higher than they were in 2017. Through July 2018, U.S. carriers spent 30.4% more per gallon on fuel than they did on the first seven months of 2017.

Are the airlines losing money? Well, not exactly. The mainline airlines are up 6.5% for the first half of 2018, but profit margins have gotten much slimmer.

The airlines are betting that travelers, given the choice, would prefer to pay more for checked luggage than increased fares – even though the airlines typically do not display baggage fees when you contact them. Some search engines can dig up those costs, however.

The President of Airfarewatchdog.com, George Hobica, sees luggage fees as a sin tax. When the tax on cigarettes went up, people smoked less. The increased fees (JetBlue and United have raised the cost of the first checked bag from $25 to $30 and the second from $35 to $40, with other airlines probably following the lead) have made the “no nickel-and-diming” policy of Southwest Airlines more attractive.