Monday, February 4, 2008

United Airlines Charges to Check More than One Bag

If you bought a non-refundable fare on United Airlines, you can check one bag free but the rest will cost you. The second costs $25 and the third and fourth $100 each.

This news may shock many in the U.S. but some airlines in other countries have been charging to check even the first bag. The writing is on the wall and more airlines may join in.

Sure, there are costs to the airlines for baggage handling but fuel costs are the killer. Jet fuel has jumped to $107 per barrel. I don’t blame the airlines for trying to minimize the weight or recoup the extra cost from those who are adding to the problem. I’d rather see that solution than have the fares increase for all passengers, even those who “travel light.”

Several years ago, my husband and I were in San Francisco, talking with a fellow named Bob in a bookstore. Bob proudly told us about all the clothing he took on a two-week trip to Paris, including eight pairs of shoes. Most guys probably don’t even own eight pairs of shoes. Many women do; I have what I affectionately call the Imelda Marcos Memorial Dressing Room, but I don’t take more than three pairs, even when I’m traveling for months at a time. Anyway, Bob was proud of the fact that he was such a fashion plate that he had to pay for excess baggage. My husband and I had trouble keeping straight faces until after we left the store and broke down laughing.

I don’t want to pay more for my airfare in order to subsidize “Beau Brummel” Bob and his excess baggage. If you’d like to avoid extra charges and lighten your travel load, but still be well dressed, there are two books that show you how. Visit to see them.

Feel free to leave your (polite) comments regarding these issues.