Bad news for overpackers, family travelers, and anyone else flying with more than two bags or particularly tall or heavy items on Delta: It’s gonna cost you. The airline has increased its excess baggage fees from $75 to $80 for three to five extra pieces of domestic luggage, and from $50 to $80 for bags between 51 and 70 pounds. Did I mention these charges are each way?
If you have an extra piece of luggage that is both taller and heavier than the limit, well, you may as well just buy your bag an extra seat on the plane. Delta charges $80 for each limitation a bag exceeds, so you could potentially end up paying $240 for that extra bag.
However, if you’re a SkyMiles Platinum, Gold, or Silver Member or a first- or business-class passenger, you’ll still be able to check an extra bag at no cost. This looks a lot like what Tim Winship recently called the reverse Robin Hood strategy, since it’s this kind of policy that taxes occasional leisure travelers and spares the generally affluent elite members.
Delta’s policy change comes on the heels of United’s announcement that it would start charging passengers for a second checked bag and a few weeks after Spirit doubled its fees for checked bags. This trend seems like just the recipe to further slow the already-torpid boarding process as more passengers try to carry on bags that really should be checked.