I'm glad that airlines are starting to charge for luggage. As a frequent flier who often doesn't check any bags at all, I think it's more fair to charge those who do than to spread the cost across all travelers by increasing ticket prices.

American Airlines will start charging $15 for the first checked bag, cut domestic flights and lay off workers -- probably in the thousands -- as the nation's largest carrier grapples with record-high fuel prices. ...

American Airlines will start charging $15 for the first checked bag, cut domestic flights and lay off workers -- probably in the thousands -- as the nation's largest carrier grapples with record-high fuel prices.

Good. I never need any of these services, so why should I have to underwrite their costs? By separating out these costs, the airlines can charge people for the services they actually use.

First issue: airlines need to be strict with their carry-on size limitations. If they start charging, people will start trying to carry-on giant suitcases that will crowd out other customers.

Second issue: They were dumb to present this as a fee for luggage... they should have raised ticket prices and then offered a discount to people who don't check bags. Or maybe not, what do I know? Maybe higher ticket prices would have made their flights show up lower in travel search engines.

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