Northwest Airlines is jacking up fares and fees and scaling back domestic operations, the Wall Street Journal reports. The airline, trying to deal with soaring fuel costs and a slowing economy without instituting pay cuts, also plans to freeze hiring. Northwest will keep adding international flights, but will add fuel surcharges as high as $160.
The airline plans to start charging $25 for a second checked bag beginning in May, and $100 for three or more bags. Some of its rival carriers have similar plans to boost their bottom line in the face of pressures that have sent three small airlines crashing into bankruptcy this week. The turbulent outlook for the industry is likely to keep pressure on for the proposed Delta-Northwest merger.