Airline Fees Hit Bags, Pets and Leg Room
(NEW YORK) — Bags delivered to your door? Streaming a movie? Early boarding? There’s an airline fee for that.
United Airlines will deliver your bags to your door or hotel room. It’s $30 for the first bag, $40 for the second and $50 for up to eight pieces of luggage. The program was introduced earlier this year and recently expanded to 36 airports. The bag delivery service follows a similar move by American Airlines last year.
It’s one of several new fees United is rolling out nationwide. Last week, the airline announced it would allow customers a faster trip through check-in and security. The cost: $9 and up.
“If you want that privilege you’ve got it now, and at the same time though, it’s going to cost you more than what you could’ve done if you did it yourself,” said Tom Parsons, CEO of BestFares.com.
Southwest Airlines, famous for its “Bags Fly Free” tag line, recently added an early boarding fee. The airline is also charging — $5 — if you want to stream movies on your laptop.
“All these new amenities will add money to their bottom line,” said Parsons.
It adds as much as $6 billion per year for the major U.S. carriers for everything from bag fees, to change fees, to pet fees, to snack boxes to fees for extra leg room.
Airlines say that without the fees, they’d lose money. The fees, they say, allow them to keep base fares low. Airlines for America, an industry trade group, says when adjusted for inflation, the average round-trip domestic airfare has actually dropped 15 percent since 2000.
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