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The Price of Excess

By Linda Tancs

In the good old days, excess baggage generally meant checked baggage that exceeded two freebies, or bags that went over the standard weight or size.  In any of those limited cases, additional fees would apply.  Now, however, at least one major carrier has broken with tradition.  As has been widely reported, United Airlines will now charge economy-class customers with non-refundable tickets $25 for a second checked bag for travel within the U.S. and to or from Canada, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.  High-tiered frequent flyers, award ticket holders, refundable ticket holders, first class and business class passengers need not worry–the two-bag freebie continues to apply.  Is it reasonable to assume that if fuel prices drop down, the newest surcharge will go away?  If fuel prices continue to escalate and, in the absence of a huge public outcry, the surcharge sticks, will other airlines follow suit?  Readers, weigh in.

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