Airline Baggage Fees On The Rise

Summer travel is just beginning, and now some airline are starting to charge more fees to check your bags.

Two airlines are asking for $5 more beginning this summer if you pay at the check-in counter – a fee on top of a fee. But, if you pay for you baggage fee from home, you will receive an “online discount.”

If airlines can get away with that, what's next? Rather than raise fares in the middle of a recession, they're piling on fees to make money – fees for bags, fees to get through the line faster, even fees for certain seats.

United Airlines alone expects to rake in more than $1 billion this year in fees ranging from baggage to accelerated frequent-flier awards. That's more than 5 percent of its revenue.

Airlines say fees are part of “a la carte” pricing that allows them to hold the line on fares. Rather than charge higher fares to everyone, they say, passengers can pick and choose the extras they want to pay for.