Tuesday, January 19, 2010

And Southwest just smiles

Don't you know Southwest Airlines is loving this.

American Airlines announced Monday that it is increasing its checked baggage fees for all domestic flights beginning Feb. 1. One checked bag goes from $20 to $25 and two bags from $30 to $35 (and that's just for a one-way flight). That's on the heels of Delta, US Airways, and Continental raising their fees last week.

Boy, that starts to add up. That's an extra $50 for one measly checked-in piece of luggage for one trip, and $75 for two.

Last February, I flew to DFW on American because of a convention. One simple direct flight. One checked-in bag. They lost it. Paid extra for it. Finally I got it at the hotel later in the day. But no refund of what was then a $15 check-in.

Southwest Airlines seems to be the only major airline where bags aren't customer baggage. And surely you've seen their effective commercials that capitalize on this, "the bags we love you" campaign.

Certainly, Southwest is leaving some revenue on the table, but is likely making up for it in goodwill and extra customers, who, all things being equal, will choose the airline where they're not charged for checked-in luggage.

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