American Airlines has officially joined Delta, Continental and United Airlines, revealing it is increasing its baggage fees for checked luggage with the new prices going into effect with tickets bought February 1, 2010.
The new price is $25 for the first back, $35 for the second. That is up $5 for each bag, so a roundtrip flight with two bags will hit you for $120. American Airlines last hiked its checked bag fees in July, when the price of the first bag rose $5 to $20 and the price of the second bag rose the same amount to $25. Six months ago it would have cost each passenger about $100 and two years ago it would have cost nothing at all.
Select passengers, including first- and business-class travelers and members of the armed services, will remain exempt from checked bag fees.
Airlines began instituting checked bag fees in 2008 to help offset soaring fuel costs but they have largely kept the fees in place, even though prices have fallen.