American Airlines to begin charging $15 per bag- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    American Airlines to begin charging $15 per bag

    and You know bike travel fees are going to be around 200 per flight

    American Airlines, struggling to cope with high jet fuel prices, said Wednesday that it would cut back significantly on its domestic flight schedule and begin charging $15 for many passengers to check their first bag in the United States.

    American, the world's largest carrier, made its announcement at the annual meeting held by its parent company, AMR, in Fort Worth, Texas.

    At the same time, American said it would take up to 85 aircraft out of its fleet, including jets and commuter planes, by the end of the year - one of the biggest cutbacks since the airlines culled their fleets after the terror attacks of September 2001. American has about 960 aircraft at its mainline airline and its American Eagle subsidiary.

    The reductions will translate to an 11 percent to 12 percent cut in service during the fourth quarter, American officials said. They said the airline would eliminate some jobs, but did not give specifics.

    "It's the end of an era," said Robert Mann Jr., an airline industry consultant in Port Washington, New York. Referring to the range of fees that customers face, Mann added, "Soon, like freight, we will pay by the pound for passenger air travel."

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    American Airlines to begin charging for checked luggage

    Airlines around the world have been hit hard by skyrocketing fuel prices, which have climbed 80 percent over the past year. The higher prices have prompted them to institute a series of fare increases, surcharges and fees for services that previously had been free. Other airlines, including Delta and United, also have announced plans to reduce their fleets.

    "Our company and industry simply cannot afford to sit by hoping for industry and market conditions to improve," American's chief executive, Gerard Arpey, told shareholders.

    American said it would start the first-bag charge June 15. It applies to passengers who purchase discounted coach-fare tickets within the United States. Passengers who have already bought tickets for travel after June 15 are exempt from the first-bag charge.

    The fees also will not apply to passengers who travel on full-fare coach or business class tickets, international travelers and passengers who hold premium status in American's frequent-flier program. American said it would not charge to check a car seat or stroller if a parent is traveling with a child, but other baggage charges would apply.

    American posted details of the new charge on its Web site.

    American's actions follow steps in the last few weeks by major airlines to charge for checking a second bag. In American's case, that fee is $25 each way for domestic passengers.

    Analysts said they expected that other carriers would watch passenger reaction to American's decision and were likely to institute their own first-bag charges.

    Patricia Friend, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, a union representing 55,000 employees at 20 U.S. airlines, said the extra baggage fees would only exacerbate the situation on already crowded planes.

    "Too many passengers will now try to carry on even more rather than pay a fee," Friend said.

    Ryanair, a low-fare carrier in Europe, instituted baggage charges on its flights in 2006. It charges about 20, or $32, for each bag checked at the airport, or 10 for baggage space reserved online. Ryanair also charges an airport check-in fee of about 5 for passengers who are traveling

  2. #2
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    I guess that apocalyse is coming soon.

  3. #3
    TR
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    Jetstar in Australia offer cheaper flights to those travelling with ONLY 1 piece of hand luggage and are super strict on the size that item can be.

  4. #4
    mtnjam
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    how 'bout they charge the fat @$$3S that sit next to me more for their fares....

  5. #5
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    We asked for it.

    I've seen data that suggests the price of an airline ticket has actually *declined* 40% since deregulation in 1970.

    With regulation, routes and fares were set, bags and food and even routes into smaller airports were effectively subsidized by the masses.

    But since then, gone are paper tickets and travel agents, and I can't tell you the last time I didn't price shop online for the lowest fare when traveling.

    With the typical low-fare sniffing consumer in mind, it makes sense that American would begin charging exactly for the services used. A checked bag adds weight at the expense of fuel, requires handling at the expense of labor, and adds loss/damage liability at the expense of insurance.

    Airlines already charge extra for "customers of size" and even maintain internal databases of them, but that's rationalized by the cubic volume of the fattie that overhangs into the neighboring (unsellable) seat.

    Nevertheless, the door is open to begin charging by weight. I seriously don't think it'll ever go that far -- the light pax will continue to subsidize the heavy (as far as fuel burn is concerned) -- but then again, if an innovative airline began offering a modest discount for lighter-weight passengers, I'd bet you the bargin hunters would flock to them!
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    I don't ever see any form of travel charging by weight of the passenger. I don't, but many people see that as infringing on their rights, even though I would say that travel is a luxury, not a right. Law suits would go crazy if they started charging by the pound.

    I am a big guy, but I would much rather see them make one or two rows for bigger people, not big enormo-fatties, but just bigger people. If they charged me another 50 bucks on top of a $300 coach ticket to give me a little more room, it would make me much happier and the people not having to sit next to me much happier. I just don't see the point in spending another $1000 or so for a 4 hour flight to be slightly more comfortable.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattco
    I don't ever see any form of travel charging by weight of the passenger. I don't, but many people see that as infringing on their rights, even though I would say that travel is a luxury, not a right.
    Realistically, I agree. It'd be an interesting experiement, to say the least.

    American? I wish they'd get rid of their shitty fuel-pig MD80s.

    And all the airlines? I wish they'd begin charging realistic prices to cover their operating expenses, and get rid of all the surcharge nonsense.

    But until they all do it, we the traveling public are going to continue to flock to the $10 cheaper fare. I can appreciate what the airlines are up against.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Realistically, I agree. It'd be an interesting experiement, to say the least.

    American? I wish they'd get rid of their shitty fuel-pig MD80s.

    And all the airlines? I wish they'd begin charging realistic prices to cover their operating expenses, and get rid of all the surcharge nonsense.

    But until they all do it, we the traveling public are going to continue to flock to the $10 cheaper fare. I can appreciate what the airlines are up against.
    It's a screwed up business on many levels, partially because there were never any "business-people" involved until very late in the game. "De-regulation" wasn't really what it sounds like, as the airlines are still bailed out by the government regularly and there is a tremendous amount of regulation enacted by the FAA, Innerstate Commerce, etc. In that respect it's a very unique industry, but these facts and other things they've done over they years with how they build routes and such have created so many levels of "red tape" (for lack of a better term) that are simply "barriers" to conducting business. The barriers are huge, and at all levels. They are so great that the airlines simply "float along" with the tide, when things are good they do good, when they are bad they do bad. You just can't "get rid" of airplanes and buy new ones. The captial cost is huge, and they "pay off" somewhere like 20 years down the road. If you don't buy aircraft to match your load factors, you can be screwed, so that 20 years down the road thing just compounds the whole situation.

    Realistic prices to cover their operating cost means that they'll go out of business sooner, because as soon as one airline does this the other ones reap the rewards of being the "low cost" carrier and they suddenly do well and the one that was trying to "cover" their costs does poorly and actually looses money due to decreased load factors (essentially making money with airlines is all about how many people you can stuff on a plane). What really needs to happen is that government needs to stop bailing out some of the airlines, but that's far from likely.

    You're right that "we asked for it", we want the cheapest fares, it wouldn't necessarily be "fair" to make the costs higher to everyone when there are certain fliers that are just going to take their carry-on, or just check one bag, so why should someone who paid the same amount as you get to bring 5 bags or something?

    Then there's the cost of fuel, and as it stands if it gets too much and the prices go up too much, less people will fly. The airlines are trying to walk the balance of meeting the demand, but you can't just "scale back" without huge repercussions. The leasing company doesn't care about these things, only if the airline makes the payments on the aircraft that they are leasing. AMR is trying to do this to some extent, but the MD80s are probably paid for and can just sit around, so the company can cut some losses. You can see how radically this "flexibility" could be different from airline to airline. So fuel has risen 400% or something. We have the developing nations and of course our goal of putting wal-marts on every corner and building more and more subdivisions. We keep expanding, building, and we are past the point where the supply exceeds the demand by a large factor, now everybody needs oil, so if you want oil to be converted to Jet-a to fuel your aircraft, it's gunna cost you because there are plenty of other people who want to buy that barrel of oil. Have some more children, have some more houses built, buy some new cars, and watch it keep skyrocketing up. That price just can't be passed on to the consumer because as I said, they'll (customers) stop flying and the airlines will go belly-up in a matter of days. It's a crappy situation and it's simply indicitive of how poor the industry is set up, although it's also an industry that is simply tied to the cost of fuel. Things could be a lot worse in this respect, and they may get there some day.

    Tickets are also priced to meet demand, the "airline reservation system" is a computer system that is monitored and administrated by the airline and it sets the price of a ticket based on demand. Low demand means cheap fare, high demand means expensive fare. I don't know if this is "fair", because you have lots of customers that are paying below the pro-rata share that would be required to cover the operating costs, but it's also supply and demand. You want that last seat right now? It's gunna cost you. That's the beauty of de-regulation. I would be pretty pissed if I paid $1100 for a flight when someone payed $180. If I was the one that payed $180 I would keep my mouth shut about "service" though, because I was obviously not concerned with that when I bought the "cheapest ticket".
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattco
    I am a big guy, but I would much rather see them make one or two rows for bigger people, not big enormo-fatties, but just bigger people. If they charged me another 50 bucks on top of a $300 coach ticket to give me a little more room, it would make me much happier and the people not having to sit next to me much happier. I just don't see the point in spending another $1000 or so for a 4 hour flight to be slightly more comfortable.
    It wouldn't be another "$50" because they could cram in a bunch more "regular" seats into the same space, so those tickets for those "big" seats would have to be much higher to offset the cost, not to mention what if the airline doesn't fill them? Then they're loosing money. So if they don't fill them with "special" people then they put "regular" sized people in them, and of course it wouldn't be fair to charge them more than usual. So now you've taken their razor thin margins (which are often in the red) and you've reduced them even more. I'm not trying to take this out on you, but it's a very screwed up industry, and there are a lot of reasons why that just wouldn't work with the way things are right now.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  10. #10
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    You understand it isn't the airlines that are driving up prices. It's fuel costs. Those things don't run on dilithium crystals.

  11. #11
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    Fuel costs, labor costs, airport facilities, government user fees, security, inflation, advertising, automation, etc. etc. Fuel represents a significant part of the operating costs, but isn't the only thing driving up the need to raise prices. There's a reason air travel has declined to what it is today, and always trying to be the cheapest is one of them...just like a lot of things in the USA.
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    Long live Aloha Airlines. 60ish years in business. Oh wait... never mind.

    Seriously, it's an airplane. I don't like paying any more than I have to like everybody else, but $15 for a bag and $200 for a bike is not a lot. Generally airline tickets are ridiculously cheap to begin with. They're not pulling these fees out of their butt to get rich, they're doing it to stay in business.

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    $15 for a bag is not a lot.

  14. #14
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    People fly because its faster to get someplace.... so you're paying $15/bag to save yourself how much TIME ?!? Coast to coast... you could drive it in what.... at an AVERAGE of the speed limits (yes, we fully expect you'll be lead footing it between gas stations) its going to be around 50 hours. Flying takes 5 hours. Figure maybe another 5 hours spent inside the departure and destination airports... and oh what.... maybe 150 gallons of gas for your car... which is what today, $400 or so. Now how much is those 40 hours saved on that airline really worth to you?
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    This is going to encourage behavior that is going to be problematic.

    I believe the charge is $15 for the first bag and $25 for the next bag. This is going to make people have the maximum size carry on luggage and the largest allowable size checked bags. The average number of bags per person will drop but the amount of weight won't change very much.

    A more sensible thing would be for them to charge based on the weight of checked in luggage.

    One result of there new policy is that more luggage that has historically been checked will be carried on. All that carry on luggage won't fit in the cabin so they will need to take extra time to move them into the luggage compartment. The fuel cost is a function of weight ,people shifting there luggage from checked to carry on won't save any weight but will delay the flights which cost the airlines more money. I know this won't be very popular but maybe if they are going to charge you for your checked baggage they should also charge for carry ons.
    TEX

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