Free ride for baggage ends June 15

American Airlines announced new baggage fees and other charges Wednesday. Specific rules regarding the new fees can be found at American's website at


When do the new and higher fees take effect?

The $15 fee for the first checked bag will take effect June 15, but American began imposing other new charges, such as for reservation help and pet handling, Wednesday.


Why is American raising and adding fees?

The airline says the fees are necessary to recover the cost of escalating oil prices, which have tripled its fuel expenses from about 13% of revenue in 2000 to 36% of revenue in the first quarter of this year.


How will passengers pay the new luggage check-in fee?

When booking a ticket or at the check-in counter.


Is there a charge for a carry-on laptop or luggage?

No, but the carry-on luggage can't be more than 40 pounds and has to fit in an overhead bin or under the seat.


Will there be a fee if you have to check a carry-on bag at the gate when a flight's overhead compartments are full?



Will other airlines follow?

Airlines are already charging or adding a variety of fees for services, but charging for the first checked bag is a new wrinkle. Delta Air Lines said it had no plans to match the bag fee and no other carrier had done so as of Wednesday.

-- Peter Pae

For The Record Los Angeles Times Friday, May 23, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 55 words Type of Material: Correction Baggage fees: A story in Section A on Thursday reported that American Airlines will charge a fee for all checked baggage. The fees will not be applied to most international travelers. A photo accompanying the article showed a couple headed to Mumbai. Passengers flying the airline to India would not be charged the new fees.
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