United Adds $15 Fee For First Checked Bag

I used to think, every time an airline eliminated a service or added a fee: maybe this one won’t take. And then it would spread to all the other airlines.

Eventually, I concluded that fairness and even logic were not relevant. The airlines were in such desperate straits that any cutback or fee increase would immediately take hold across the industry.

Still, when American Airlines announced last month that it would charge most customers $15 for the first checked bag on a domestic flight, I just couldn’t see it taking hold. The backlash was pretty bad, and fairly bitter.

Who would want to jump in after that reaction?

United, of course.


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