The Bloggers
Subscribe to this Blog

Insta-CoGo: Delta to Charge $25 for Second Checked Bag

Cindy Loose

Delta is the latest carrier to add a $25 fee for a second piece of checked luggage. The carrier hasn't made a formal announcement (and Delta's Web site still says that you're allowed two pieces of checked baggage), but Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott confirmed today that the fee will go into effect May 1 -- regardless of when you bought your ticket.

Fliers on both domestic and international flights will be affected by the new charge. Elliott said that business- and first-class fliers and those holding top-level SkyMiles membership will be exempt.

United was the first major U.S. carrier to start charging a fee for a second checked bag; its $25 fee will be assessed starting May 5 on domestic travelers flying on a nonfundable economy ticket (the cheapest fares). US Airways went one step further, assessing the fee on domestic and international flights. It seems clear that the other major carriers can't be far behind.

The so-called legacy carriers also follow one another's lead when it comes to fare increases. When United announced last week that it would add up to $50 per ticket to pay for increased fuel surcharges, Delta and all the others followed suit. But Delta upped the ante yesterday when it announced it would tack on yet another $10. It's unclear how those increases are applied. Seems to me that fares on competitive routes served by discount carriers stay cheap.

The baggage fee is the latest in a series of major announcements from Delta. Earlier this week, it said that it will offer voluntary severance payments -- aka buyouts -- to about half its workforce, with the goal of cutting 2,000 workers. The offers do not affect pilots, but consumers could see a difference at the airport: The offers are going to workers who hold front line, administrative and management jobs. For example, flight attendants and gate and ticket agents with 10 years or more of service are among those being offered the buyout.

And while Delta says it plans to cut domestic service by about 5 percent, it also plans to continue increasing international flights, so service levels could suffer.

(To take a look at last Sunday's Coming & Going column -- or CoGo -- here's the link.)

By Cindy Loose |  March 20, 2008; 2:25 PM ET  | Category:  Air Travel , Airline Industry , Carol Sottili , Insta-CoGo , Travel Logistics
Previous: It Came from the Chat: You Lucky Travelers | Next: What's the Deal?: What You Need to Know About Summer Airfares

View or post comments

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Isn't the move for charging for a second bag going to increase the number of bags people bring on board (which is already a problem) and increase security wait times?

Posted by: Cliff | March 20, 2008 4:30 PM

FAA should not allow fuel surcharges. They are too easy to manipulate. If the price of fuel goes up, then the price of the ticket should go up accordingly.

The cost of fuel affects the price of everything--beer, shoes, diapers, etc. Does Budweiser add a fuel charge? Then, why should the airlines feel so special?

Posted by: dg | March 20, 2008 5:53 PM

Are we taking bets on the next airline to do this?

Per bringing bags on board - maybe, maybe not. Depends on whether or not they crack down on that kind of thing (and I wish they would - half the bags are already too big anyway).

Per the fuel cost - totally agree with you dg. I am so tired of twenty billion charges. Charge the cost of a ticket and be done with it.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | March 20, 2008 7:08 PM

I agree with Chris: the 2nd-bag charge will have perverse results unless Delta also cracks down on oversized and multiple carryons. Has the airline considered charging for the 2nd carryon as well? (I know, that gets into endless debates about how big a "personal item" may be...)

Posted by: cjohnson1 | March 20, 2008 8:39 PM

Sorry -- I meant Cliff, not Chris.

Posted by: cjohnson1 | March 20, 2008 8:41 PM

I travel overseas for at least a month at a time and have been for over thirty years. This requires two very carefully packed suitcases. They are never overweight and are easily accessed by TSP and customs, here and overseas. Charging for an extra suitcase is a burden on those of us that fly international.

When I fly domestic, I usually just do one carry on and no checked luggage. My bag always will fit under my seat or in the overhead with no stuffing.

I feel I am being penalized for doing the right thing.

Posted by: Michael1945 | March 20, 2008 9:00 PM

dg FYI, Budweiser probably doesn't add a fuel surcharge, but the companies that transport it probably do. I work at a wholesale company and most of our customers are all paying a fuel surcharge per delivery. We also are paying a fuel surcharge on the deliveries that we receive. On the retail level, the stores are just spreading the additional cost around.

As for the additional charges for the second bag, once one airline started, of course everyone else will follow. The impact will really only be felt by the leisure traveler. I am sure that everyone that is traveling on business and flying in coach at the request of the employer will expense the cost of the additional bag. Since the additional baggage is usually comprised of business materials (A/V equipment, displays, samples, etc.), I don't think any company would bulk at paying the extra fees. It will just make leisure travellers take a second and third look at what they need to cart along with them.

Posted by: rja112 | March 21, 2008 12:08 AM

I find it funny how three of the 'big' airlines - US Airways, United, and Delta - are the ones implementing this new second-bag-charge policy, where the smaller airlines - Frontier, Airtran, Southwest - still allow two free pieces of check-in luggage.

Personally, I hope this new policy falls right on the big airlines' feet when they see people flocking in droves to the cheaper airlines.

I guess I'll be crossing Delta off my list. I just hope the other airlines don't follow suit.

Posted by: Accipiter | March 24, 2008 11:41 PM

Instead of a $25 charge, why don't they give a $25/50 discount to those of us who DON"T check bags or only check one. That would be a LOT more incentive for people to pack light.

Posted by: holly | March 26, 2008 10:49 AM

I just heard about this, and am feeling cheated. I've booked a flight on Delta for a dive trip, where it's virtually impossible to travel with less than 2 bags. In effect, they've just raised my round trip airfare by $50 after the deal was closed. Whatever the rationale for the surcharge, they shouldn't be allowed to apply it to people who booked before it was announced. At least, not without offering them the option of a full refund.

Posted by: ejk | March 28, 2008 8:28 PM

I just heard about this, and am feeling cheated. I've booked a flight on Delta for a dive trip, where it's virtually impossible to travel with less than 2 bags. In effect, they've just raised my round trip airfare by $50 after the deal was closed. Whatever the rationale for the surcharge, they shouldn't be allowed to apply it to people who booked before it was announced. At least, not without offering them the option of a full refund.

Posted by: ejk | March 28, 2008 8:28 PM

I researched the fairs, airlines, and picked delta for bought tickets for two internatinoal flights. After all of this they want to change the deal and charge more for luggage ater the ticket was paid. Ripoff, my feelings about Delta have changed and I will pay extra with a more reputable airline than fly Delta ever again.

Posted by: Jonathan Quinn | April 1, 2008 11:11 AM

I emailed Delta about this policy. My biggest complaint is that Delta is not "grandfathering" in those who bought their tickets before the announced policy change. Delta's response that they are following industry standard which they are NOT since every other airline charging for a second bag is allowing those who booked before that airline's announcement to still check a 2nd bag. You would think Delta would look at the recent cruiseline fuel surcharge debacle (where several have been forced to give refunds) that this sort of business practice is not okay. Sure, charge all they want AS LONG AS THE POLICY IS CLEARLY IN PLACE WHEN CUSTOMERS BOOK!

Posted by: CMD | April 23, 2008 3:43 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company