Southwest becomes more like its legacy airline competitors every year. As of January 29, the airline will reduce its checked-bag limit to two bags per traveler, down from three. A third bag will cost $25, and bags four to nine will cost $50 each. Any bag after that will cost $110.
The change is Southwest’s attempt to handle its bags more efficiently, The Dallas Morning News reports. Only two percent of travelers in 2007 checked three bags.
Whatever Southwest’s reason, the baggage-policy change is yet another move away from the elements that made the airline different for many travelers. In December, Southwest began catering to business travelers by offering priority boarding and extra Rapid Rewards credits to passengers paying higher fares, essentially leaving leisure travelers to scramble over the remaining seats. Rapid Rewards itself has become less flyer-friendly over the years after Southwest introduced blackout dates and capacity controls.
Let’s hope Southwest doesn’t continue its slide toward the conventional this year as jet fuel costs continue to climb.