Checked Bag Fees: Money for Nothing
By Scott Mayerowitz
ABC NEWS Business Unit
Heading to the airport this holiday weekend? Well, if you're planning to check bags you'd better bring some extra cash.
American Airlines announced Wednesday that it will start charging passengers $15 next month to check a bag. The airline -- like many others -- had already announced plans to charge $25 to check a second bag.
But just because these airlines are charging you for what was once free, don't expect any improvements in service. Airline experts said there will still be plenty of lost bags.
Ray Neidl, an airline analyst with Calyon Securities, said because of high gas prices the airlines need cash and passengers shouldn't expect any change in how their bags are handled.
"The systems are still going to be the same," Neidl said.
Basically, he added, fuel prices are forcing the airlines to do something they might have done anyway.
"People want bare-bones ticket prices. They don't want to be subsidizing other passengers checking in bags," Neidl said.
Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com and an ABCNEWS.com columnist, also cast doubt about any improved baggage service.