Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Pack lightly - or you'll pay for it

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United Airlines recently announced it will begin charging passengers $25 to check in a second piece of luggage for domestic travel if they aren't part of its most-frequent-flier programs.

News reports said the change takes effect May 5. Travelers would have to log at least 25,000 miles in a year on United to be able to check their second bag for free.

It's the latest move in a string of extra charges being tacked on for everything from assigned seats to snacks.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty sick of being nickeled and dimed to death, especially when flying is as much fun these days as cleaning the bathroom. Make that the airport's bathroom.

What do you think? Is United's extra charge fair or foul?

By the way, here are some more details about the new charges, courtesy of the Associated Press:

Customers who have ‘‘Premier’’ status or higher within United’s Mileage Plus program, or ‘‘Silver’’ status or higher within its Star Alliance program still will be able to check in a second bag for free. The new charge applies to those who purchase nonrefundable domestic economy tickets.

United will charge all customers $100 per bag for up to four additional bags. Previous charges ranged from $85 to $125 per bag. The cost to check items that require special handling because they are large, overweight or fragile will now be either $100 or $200, depending on the item.

New fees apply to trips within the U.S. and or those that include Canada, San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Customers whose itineraries include other international flights still will be able to check the second bag for free. The cost to check more than two bags, or items that are overweight or require special handling, on such trips will vary by destination.

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on February 13, 2008 4:03 AM.

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