American Airlines’ plan to charge passengers $15 to check a bag is likely to cost the carrier more money than it generates, Joe Brancatelli argues in Portfolio. “Not only will it infuriate flyers—who are already annoyed with American’s lousy operating efficiency and its recent maintenance snafus—it’s likely to further erode American’s on-time and baggage-handling rates,” he writes.
Inexperienced fliers will likely respond with oversized carry-ons, provoking ticket-counter clashes. Even sanctioned carry-ons will have to be screened and stowed, time-consuming processes that could cause delays. Worse, bags that don’t fit onboard will have to be gate-checked—a recipe for lost luggage and liability. “You can’t fix stupid," Brancatelli concludes. "And this fee is going into the Airline Stupid Hall of Fame.”