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Arment Dietrich

America: Flying High?

By: Arment Dietrich | May 21, 2008 | 
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Blog written by Maggie Hassler

The Result of U.S. airlines struggling with raising fuel costs is the inevitable raising of ticket prices. Rather than increase the cost of flights, airlines are adding obscure fees. Airline tactics for staying afloat with rising fuel prices include adding surcharges and charging extra for overweight bags, legroom, and other amenities.

According to Market Watch, American Airlines is trimming capacity and adding a $15 bag fee per passenger checking luggage. CNNMoney reports American Airlines already charges passengers $15 for using means other than the Web site to change seat assignments.  American Airlines is far from the only carrier tacking on fees.  United, Alaska, and Northwest all charge for curbside check in, Northwest added a $25 fee for passengers flying standby, and Spirit Airlines began charging flyers $10 to check in a second bag and $100 for a third bag.

American Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Gerard Arpey told reporters at Market Watch, “We started the year with a conservative capacity reduction plan, but because of the unabated rise in fuel expenses we are further reducing our domestic capacity.” Rising fuel prices remain a constant element in the story of airline prices. No matter how the story is spun, one thing remains the same: If America is flying high, it’s expensive.

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