Monday, 30 June, 2008 1:15 PM
To Check, or
Not To Check - SmarterTravel.com Reveals Survey Results and Those
Exempt From the New Fees
Airlines Make Taking Bags a Luxury on Flights, SmarterTravel Users
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
pick up at Detroit's McNamara Terminal.
-- SmarterTravel.com(TM), a comprehensive
online travel resource, began polling users regarding baggage fees
flying when American Airlines announced their $15 charge for the
checked bag, and the results were surprising. According to the on-site
survey, only three percent of respondents said they would continue
the airline, and only because they were elite-level AAdvantage members
were close to receiving an award ticket. Due to the survey's high
response and comments around the baggage issue, and United and US
additional bag fees, SmarterTravel(R) has also provided a list of
are exempt from the first checked bag charge.
to responses from travelers who were reluctant to fly
American Airlines in the future, SmarterTravel's on-site poll also
plan to carry on their luggage (39 percent) or will cut back on
what they packed to only pay for one checked bag (30 percent).
four percent noted that new fees are just one more reason
they won't be flying at all anytime soon.
- Three percent noted
they would suck it up and pay for two bags.
- Two percent said
they always travel light.
understand that airlines are looking for ways to recoup costs
incurred by the high cost of fuel, but the charge for baggage shocked
concerned us and our readers," said Anne Banas, executive editor
SmarterTravel.com. "The survey helps to underscore that travelers
happy with the state of air travel, and that their efforts to get
the fee will only end up causing the airline headaches in the end.
wanted to show that not all passengers are penalized with the charge
there are a lucky few who can get around it based on their ticket
for the first and second checked bag fee include:
Ticket Purchases. Early birds who purchased tickets in
advance of the ruling do not have to pay fees. American Airlines
booked travel prior to June 14 don't have to pay for a first checked
and those who booked before May 12 don't have to pay for a second
bag. United passengers who made reservations before June 13 can
bag free and those who booked February 3 or earlier can bring
free. On US Airways, you still have until July 9 to book to get
- Business and First
Class Travelers. Already paying exorbitantly high
seat prices, business and first class travelers don't have to
pay for their
bags to come too. This also goes for the lucky ones who booked
first class award travel.
- Active Military.
Members of the military with proper ID and orders
are exempt from the new baggage fees on all three airlines. American
extends this exemption to all members of the military and anyone
purchased a military or government fare.
- Mobility Impaired
or Traveling with Kids. All three airlines exempt
wheelchairs and other personal assistance devices. Ditto for car
strollers checked by passengers traveling with a child on American
United lets you check strollers free, and on US Airways, car seats
strollers are free only if you fly across the Atlantic and pay
- Elite Frequent Fliers.
Airline loyalty may not give you the types of
rewards you reaped in the past, but at least nowadays it saves
some of the punishment being wrought on economy flyers. If you're
level member of American's, United's, or US Airways' frequent
program, you're exempt from extra baggage fees on that airline.
airline also exempts flyers with elite-level membership in its
For the full list of
exemptions, visit http://smartertravel.com/link/exemptfrombaggage.
For more information on
the survey, and packing tips from SmarterTravel readers, visit http://www.smartertravel.com/link/packing-tips.
Smarter Travel Media LLC.