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AirTran Joins the Bag Fee Movement

Christina Talcott

Say it ain't so! Low-cost airline AirTran has joined the legacy carriers in charging for the first checked bag. Starting Dec. 5, the first checked bag will cost $15 to check; the second one will remain $25.

I'm saddened by the news, because I really like no-frills AirTran. It's partly because they were my airline of choice in college, and even now I can still find ridiculously low prices. But it's also partly because, a few weeks back when I flew from Portland, Maine, to BWI, they were handing out packets of little lacy cookies (bye bye, pretzels!). They seemed a little out of place, like they fell off a truck somewhere, but they were delicious.

Now that AirTran's charging for Bag #1, the ranks of first-bag-free carriers are shrinking; Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin America are among the holdouts. What I'm wondering is: Which airline will be next?

By Christina Talcott |  November 13, 2008; 10:28 AM ET  | Category:  Air Travel , Airline Industry , Christina Talcott , In the News , Luggage , Travel Trends
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I just flew Alaska's lovely DCA-LAX nonstop, and they continue to offer one checked bag for free.

Posted by: oceanchild | November 13, 2008 1:31 PM

Does that mean starting with tickets sold on Dec. 5, or starting with flights on Dec. 5? Because when I bought tickets for a March flight, another airline was cheaper, but their checked bag fee made AirTran the better deal.

Posted by: crunchyfrog | November 13, 2008 2:25 PM

The bag fee only applies to the tickets purchased after Nov. 12:

"Effective December 5, 2008, for all reservations booked on or after November 12, 2008, the charge for the first checked bag will be $15. For reservations booked prior to this date, for each fare-paying customer, AirTran Airways will allow one (1) checked bag free of charge, with size and weight limitations (see baggage allowance details below)."

Posted by: Ian9 | November 14, 2008 12:23 PM

I have just returned from Cabo on United. No charge for either first or second bag. One of them was even a boogie board.

Posted by: steinerphoto | November 19, 2008 1:45 PM

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