In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Sandra Parker decides to cancel her flight to Florida on Spirit Airlines. She knows her $80 flights aren’t refundable. But what about the $160 pre-paid baggage fees?
Airport luggage scales lie. It’s not an uncommon allegation. And sometimes, it’s actually true. Ticket counter weights in Phoenix, Raleigh, N.C., and Seattle have been found to be inaccurate — errors that often enrich the airline.
Airlines sure do love their fees, don’t they?
A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed that domestic air carriers collected $7.1 billion in revenue from checked-bag and changed-reservations fees last year. The extra charges are helping the industry earn record profits.
Jacqueline Heller is bumped from a flight that’s overbooked, but she can’t get the airline to refund her baggage fee. Can our advocates help?
At first glance it looked like adding an extra bag would cost just $9. For one traveler this was an expensive lesson in reading the fine print.
Carmel Rawlins used an online travel agency (OTA) to book the cheapest fare for a one-way trip connecting through five countries on three different airlines. All the connections required collecting and rechecking bags. What could possibly go wrong?
When the Transportation Department (DOT) announced new “enhanced” protections for air travelers last week, the reaction was predictable. Airlines complained
Airlines will collect more luggage fees this summer than in any other in the history of modern aviation.
Roslyn Lang pays $25 to check her small suitcase each time she travels on United Airlines. Although her bag could fit in the overhead compartment, she is 73 years old and can’t lift the suitcase, so she always checks her bag.
Donna Whalen played American Airlines’ credit card game, thinking she’d get “free checked bags.” She lost.
Just before Ralph Dehner’s flight from Atlantic City to Orlando, he suffered a heart attack. He spent a month in the hospital recovering.
It gets worse. His flights were on Spirit Airlines, which is notoriously strict about refunds and changes. And wouldn’t you know it — that’s exactly what happened to him.
Check this out: The latest luggage fee numbers, as reported by the federal government, show that the major airlines are collecting less for our checked suitcases. They haven’t returned to the early 2007 levels, which were still pretty reasonable, but well off the highs reached in the second and third quarter of 2010.
What does “You get what you pay for” mean?
We don’t know — yet. But we a majority of airline passengers believe it will happen, and probably soon. A new mobile poll by Predicto says 72 percent of users think another airline will follow Spirit Airlines’ lead this year.
Remember “no waivers, no favors,” the onerous post-9/11 policy that prevented airline employees from bending the rules? You’d think that with the advent of new baggage fees, we were looking at a sequel to the “no waivers” policy. Not so.
They may be a little late to the game, but then again, the first skiers who will probably be hit by these fees won’t see them until this summer (winter in South American ski resorts like Valle Nevado and Cerro Catedral). But a group of skiers is protesting the planned second-bag surcharge that United Airlines and US Airways have announced, hoping to enlist scuba divers, golfers and parents with strollers to their cause.