Travel light, or pay

American Airlines, the last holdout of the legacy carriers in the decision to start charging for checking two bags, has taken the lead in the effort to charge for ALL checked luggage. Faced with a $3 billion expected increase in expenses due to fuel and other costs, AA has chosen to charge $15 for the first bag checked. They will also be increasing other charges, retiring a number of planes (~45-50) and cutting jobs as well as ~10% of their domestic capacity at the end of ’08. The new baggage charge goes into effect on June 15th.

I’d like to think that this won’t affect me personally since I haven’t checked a bag in a couple years now, but with more and more people pushed to pay for their bags I foresee more carrying them on. That means longer lines at security and less available space on the plane. Bad news indeed.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Now, I want you to try that with your wife? 🙂

    A few years went by with me not checking any bag, the one time I did, it broke inside the cargo haul and everything that was in it……went flying (pun intended) all over the place, that was a nice experience…..when I picked a bag with some stuff recovered…..

  2. She’s actually taken to the no cheked luggage approach to travel as well, and does it quite nicely. We would’ve been able to do our 3.5 week RTW honeymoon trip as carry-on only except that we had an extra bag of scuba gear. Everything else fit just fine in carry-ons. It really isn’t all that difficult if you plan for it. It does mean making some sacrifices (only 2 pairs of shoes, and you wear the big/heavy ones on the flight no matter what, for example) but once you get over some of those bits the travel experience gets a whole lot easier.

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