Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baggage fees: Not all airlines are the same.

United and Continental are the latest to join Delta's baggage fee increase, pushing domestic charges to $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for a second checked bag.

Within the world of legacy carriers, however, not all airlines are equal.

If you're a Star Alliance elite flyer--for instance, a Continental Platinum--you can fly with United or U.S. Airways and pay no baggage fees.

Not so for SkyTeam! Delta waives baggage fees only for its own elite members, not for those of SkyTeam partners.

Of course, not having to pay these sorts of "junk fees" is definitely a selling point in favor of airlines that don't charge them: JetBlue checks one bag for free and charges $30 for a second bag, and you can check two bags for free on Southwest.

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