American Airlines is cutting flights, jobs, and carrying capacity in its effort to withstand skyrocketing oil prices, the company announced today—and it's adding a $15 fee for some customers' first checked bag. US capacity could fall 12% as up to 85 planes are retired, the Wall Street Journal reports. The announcement sent airline stocks plummeting.
No other carrier has responded so aggressively to fuel costs, which have doubled since last year. “The airline industry as it is constituted today was not built to withstand oil prices at $125 a barrel,” said American’s CEO. “Our company and industry simply cannot afford to sit by hoping for conditions to improve.”