AA: Checked Bag Fees "Here to Stay"

With falling oil prices, travelers call for demise of baggage fees

By Grant Stinchfield
|  Friday, Dec 19, 2008  |  Updated 8:10 AM CDT
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AA: Checked Bag Fees "Here to Stay"

ASSOCIATED PRESS

An American Airlines spokesman said checked bag fees "are here to stay."

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AA: Checked Bag Fees "Here to Stay"

Despite plummeting oil prices, American Airlines says baggage fees are here to stay.
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Fuel prices may be plummeting, but fees to check luggage are here to stay.

Several airlines instituted the fees when oil prices were at record high levels, and many travelers say they should be dropped now that the price of fuel is at a 10-year low.

"They want to charge us when the cost of fuel is high; they should drop the fee when fuel prices go back down," traveler Amy Buchwalder said.

Despite the drop in fuel costs, American said it lost $360 million during the third quarter of this year and will pay $3 billion more for fuel this year than it did last year.

The fees are all part of a strategy to offset that increased cost and the troubles that come with a bad economy, American spokesman Tim Smith said.

"For all intense and purposes, those fees are here to stay," he said.

Monique Jones, who was on her way to Las Vegas on American Airlines, called the fees "highway robbery."

"They should do away with those fees," Craig Jones said. "It's the right thing to do."

But American Airlines said the fees are part of a plan to charge on an a la carte basis.

"This is all part of a plan to unbundle services and give travelers a choice on what services they want to pay for," Smith said.

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