Travelers flying from the U.S. to Europe on Air France will soon have to pay $50 for the second checked bag, while passenger on the return flight will pay €50 (a whopping $75, see XE.com for current exchange rates). The policy change affects all tickets purchased on or after November 1.
It's pretty easy to fill two bags when traveling to Europe, especially during the chillier months. European vacations often last 10 days or more, and, at least in my case, I pack additional more formal clothes to make sure I'm dressed properly at restaurants and so forth. As such, my sense is this fee will snare a lot of travelers, and should bring in a significant amount of money for Air France.
Of course, Air France isn't the first carrier to add fees for traveling overseas. Aer Lingus, American, British Airways, Continental, Delta, United, US Airways, and Virgin Atlantic all have fees in the same neighborhood as Air France's, with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic topping the list at $60, though each charges less when you pay online.
In case you didn't know, you can now track fees for 23 airlines flying to and within Europe with our Ultimate Guide to Airline Fees (Europe Edition). It's just like our Ultimate Guide to Airline Fees, except multi-lingual (not really—it's in English).