Earlier this week, American became the first major U.S. airline to charge for all checked bags. No other large airline has yet to match this fee, but several are reportedly considering the idea. It'd be nice to believe that American might realize it's made a major PR blunder and retract this new fee, but let's be realistic: American—and most of the other airlines—are in serious financial trouble due to rising fuel prices, and they will have to make more money somehow in order to survive. I think the checked baggage fee is here to stay.
All this raises serious questions for travelers. Here at SmarterTravel.com, we want to know: Given fees for all checked bags, how will you change the way you travel? To help us out, please complete our four-question survey. Click here to proceed. You'll be briefly redirected to another site. Also, we're collecting packing tips for minimizing your checked baggage and fitting more in your carry-on bag (don't forget the added complication of security screening and limited overhead space). Please let us know if you have any good ideas by posting below or completing the survey.
We'll be collecting answers for the next few days and will post the results in Today in Travel next week.
Thanks for your time.
-Molly Feltner, Senior Editor