News of another airline charging for a second checked bag is so commonplace these days that it's easy to forget how quickly and drastically the air travel landscape is changing. The latest new fee comes from Midwest Airlines, one of the more popular carriers out there (due at least in part to its cookies), which added a $20 charge for second checked bags. It's not clear if the fee is charged each way, but it will apply to tickets purchased since Saturday for travel on or after June 16.
By my count, this leaves consumers with a scant handful of major domestic airlines that don't charge such a fee: Southwest, Alaska, Hawaiian, and ... is that it? Let me know if I've missed any.
But wait! There's good news! While baggage fees have been the name of the game for domestic travel, the phenomenon doesn't seem to have spread across the Pond. Most major transatlantic carriers, including Lufthansa, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Air France allow two bags per passenger, and the U.S. carriers that have added fees have done so almost exclusively for stateside flights. Of course, fares to Europe are astronomically high right now, and generally more profitable than domestic routes to begin with, but l digress.
So, if you can afford that flight to Rome this summer, do not take for granted your complimentary two-bag allowance. Chances are your friends flying to San Francisco or New York are forking over more than a few bucks to check their gear.