The higher fees take effect Tuesday for Delta passengers who booked their flights Jan. 5 or later and are checking bags on domestic flights. For those who pay the baggage fees when they check in online, the fees will be $23 for the first checked bag and $32 for the second checked bag. Those who pay the baggage fees at the airport ticket counter, kiosk or curbside will pay $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second.
US Airways had raised its maximum fees to those amounts last year. Continental is doing so later this week.
Until now at Delta, the fees have been $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for a second checked bag, with a $5 surcharge on each for travelers who didn't pay online.
"The increase is a result of the continued economic pressures on our business," Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott said. Still exempt from the baggage fees are elite frequent fliers, first class and business class passengers, active military personnel on orders and those who buy full-fare coach tickets.
Elliott said Atlanta-based Delta's baggage fees "remain competitive."
AirTran Airways, which is based in Orlando and has its largest hub in Atlanta, still charges $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second. A spokesman did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
I predict that by this time next year it will cost you $30 to check your first bag.
The baggage charge is a cash cow for the airlines and they will milk it for as long as they can. I don't really blame them. Their best customers (business travelers with Elite status, other frequent flyers and first class passengers) are exempt from the charges so they can make the revenue from the leisure traveler without really losing money if someone doesn't like it. A leisure traveler will almost always book the lowest fare and just "complain" about the baggage fee.
This is doing more to eliminate formal night than the "It's my vacation" people.
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I am a million miler on Delta so I am Lifetime Silver. This allows me to use Business/First check in lines and avoid (for now) baggage fees. I have always felt that it is better to stay loyal to one airline, hotel chain, etc in order to get these little perks that do matter.
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