American has raised its baggage fees by $5, meaning you'll pay $20 for the first checked bag and $30 for the second. The new fee will affect all tickets booked on or after August 14 for travel within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Unlike recent moves from US Airways, United, Delta, and Continental, there is no escaping this fee hike. Those carriers added a $5 surcharge to bag fees paid at the airport, but customers can dodge the surcharge by paying the fee online. American, however, is simply raising the fee by $5.
The question now, of course, is whether or not American's competitors will match the hike. Will the four carriers with airport surcharges simply apply the surcharge to fees paid online? Or will they see this as an opportunity to bring in more revenue (with the surcharge) while maintaining a competitive advantage over American?
As always, you can keep up with all the airline fees with our handy Ultimate Guide to Airline Fees.