US Airways Starts Charging for Second Bag

Baggage, United, US Airways

Looks like US Airways has decided to match United’s effort to charge $25 to check a second bag. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Hey you . . . yeah, the guy over there in Sheboygan . . . put your hand down. Nobody should be surprised by this.

08_02_26 usdominoIf you buy your ticket from today forward and travel after May 5, you’ll pay $25 for that second bag. There are some important differences between the United policy and the US Airways policy, so definitely take note.

US Airways will not exempt refundable fares. Any fare pays. Oh, and this applies to the entire US Airways system and not just domestic flying like under United’s policy. First Class passengers and Elite frequent flier members will be exempt, of course, and so will active military personnel, unaccompanied minors, and “those checking assistive devices.” I assume that means a wheelchair or something else “assistive.”

I’m not quite sure why unaccompanied minors don’t have to pay, but the rest of the exemptions make sense. We all knew this was inevitable, especially for an airline like US Airways. The good news? Um. I don’t think there is any good news for travelers here. I’m sure the PR spin is that this will help keep base fares lower in the face of rising fuel costs, or something along those lines. Ultimately it’s just another way to extract money in the face of $100 oil.

The good news for me is that I get to head over to US Airways Media Day on Thursday, so I’m looking forward to hearing more about what they’re working on.

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7 comments on “US Airways Starts Charging for Second Bag

  1. The good news, you’re not paying for people who are moving their household by checking packing everything they own and flying all five members of their household across the country..

    The better question is how many elite frequent fliers will actually ever check a bag to philadelphia, let alone two!

  2. Definitely thinking US Airways’ “version” of the 2nd bag fee is due to the complicated programming that they need to do in order to determine the destination, refundability, etc… of the fare.

    UA has had a while to work on this – US probably just spent the last three weeks working on the business case, and in order to match quickly, had to just match broadly with not much time to actually work on programming. Without programming that will help customer service agents process these new charges quickly, it will be a nightmare.

  3. International as well?! That’s a bummer and almost everyone affected. What about a code share flight with LH, say 1st leg on USAir and the transatlantic with LH? You get more rights when departing from Europe then when flying to Europe?

  4. Andy – I’m sure the codeshare rules default to the operating carrier. So, if you’re flying Lufthansa metal, you will get their rules.

  5. How about some context in this reporting? Are US Airways and United the only major carriers in the world doing this? How about others domestically? What does Southwest do?

  6. DRG – I don’t have details for every major airline, but certainly it’s becoming standard practice for many low cost carriers. Southwest, however, is not one of those. I wrote about their new policy here.

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