Friday, May 23, 2008

Fliers, experts expect complications from AA's new bag fee

Fliers have expressed surprise and outrage to the move
USA Today

A day after American announced it would add a $15 fee for a first checked bag, customers and industry observers are still gauging the fallout from the move.

Fliers have expressed surprise and outrage to the move, while industry observers warn the new fee could further complicate the flying experience. suggests "the new baggage fee is likely to create havoc in airports and jet aisles as travelers try to beat the system by squeezing all their belongings into carried-on bags, further straining overhead bins' capacity. And it won't just be seasoned travelers but also newer ones, who might not know they can't bring aboard water bottles, razors or nail files, which will hold up the lines at security checks."

"Everyone is going to try to beat the system," Henry Harteveldt, an airline analyst with Forrester Research, predicts to "When you can check your bags for free on Greyhound, but not on an airline, it's a sad comment on the state of the whole industry," he adds. The Chicago Tribune (free registration) writes AA "will rely on security screeners to remind passengers of restrictions that limit them to two carry-on items, and that the airline's workers also would be on the lookout for passengers toting overly large bags."

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