Baggage Fees Are Headed North

Continental Airlines has followed Delta Airlines decision to raise luggage fees, increasing the cost of cheap airplane tickets and cheap vacation packages, if you have to check baggage.

Both airlines are charging flyers that pay online for checked bags $23 for the first bag and $32 for the second. Deltas online fees are being increased by $8 for the first checked bag and $7 for the second, whereas Continental fees are going up by $5 for each bag.

If you choose to pay at the airport vs. online, both airlines are charging an additional $2 for the first checked bag, and $3 more for the second checked bag.

Deltas increased rates start today and apply to tickets paid for after January 4th. The higher Continental luggage rates apply to all tickets paid for after January 8th for travel starting January 16th.

Delta and Continental are now charging some of the highest luggage fees in the US. What remains to be seen is whether the rest of the airline industry follows their lead.

Unfortunately, for flyers, baggage fee income has become a major revenue source for the airlines, with US airlines collecting nearly $740 million in baggage fees in the third quarter alone in 2009.

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