$400 Fees Have Landed - Have Airlines Gone Too Far?

As if airfare wasn't expensive enough already, imagine buying a pricey international ticket—and then being asked for $400 (each-way) on top of that just to check your bag. If you're flying Continental, American, or United, and you've got a bag that's over 70 lbs, you're going to have to cough up an extra $400 to $450 just to bring your bag along. At that price, you could practically buy your bag a seat on the plane, or just buy all new things at your destination!

Here's a breakdown of the biggest fees:

AirlineBag WeightFeeDestination
American Airlines71-100 lbs $450Asia
Continental71-100 lbs Up to $400 in addition to any charges for extra or oversized baggageFee depends on the destination, but the highest are for International flights
United71-100 lbs $400Any other continent for flights departing from North America.

So what can you do? Try flying AirTran, Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, or US Airways, where overweight baggage fees are all $200 or less, and most are under $100. However, most of those primarily domestic airlines don't fly to the international destinations that Continental, American, and United are charging the big bucks for.

Now might be the time to invest in a portable luggage scale, or risk shelling out for huge fees at the baggage counter—or even being turned away, as most airlines don't accept bags heavier than 100 pounds. Plus, according to United, airports in major cities such as London, Dubai, Athens, Lima, Sydney, and more will not accept bags heavier than 70 pounds, so be sure to check the rules at your destination.

Not that you need another excuse to become angrier about the fees situation, but read Ed Perkins' recent story on the newest, "worst yet", airline fee.

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