United to Charge Fee for Second Bag

Other carriers may follow suit as airline tacks on $25 for extra suitcase
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2008 6:38 AM CST
A United Airlines plane heads away from the gates of the B concourse at Denver International Airport in this Aug. 24, 2006 file photo. United Airlines, the second-largest U.S. carrier, raised domestic...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Many United Airlines travelers planning to check in more than one piece of luggage are going to have to pay for it, beginning this spring. Passengers buying nonrefundable economy tickets will have to fork over $25 for a second bag as the airline seeks to offset soaring fuel costs without raising ticket prices. Frequent fliers and international travelers will be exempt. The airline expects to gain $100 million from the charge, Bloomberg reports.

Some experts think that other major US airlines will wait and see if the move backfires on United, but others believe the pressure to keep ticket prices down will make it inevitable that United's rivals follow suit. "They are the first, but they certainly won't be the last," an airline consultant commented. "The airlines are looking for every possible revenue source they can find."