Airlines Need to Charge for the Right Luggage

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The airlines are laying off thousands and reducing capacity across the board. The reason? High fuel costs.

Rather than increase fares for the real cause of the problem — you know, fuel — airlines are dime-ing and dollar-ing you to death by charging for checking bags. Even one checked bag.

As a former road warrior, I can understand the need to control costs and manage revenue. But if fuel problem is the problem, let’s add the fuel costs on the ticket and be done with it rather than creating fifteen thousand rules and charges that just confuse the people paying for the ticket in the first place.

But, if the inept airline management is really going to charge for bags, then I agree with this one: charge for carry-on luggage. Yes, carry-on luggage.

Before the road warriors out there go a bit crazy, consider this: the way the fares are set up now is going to make carry-on luggage the rule. This will not only fill up the overhead bins faster, it will significantly increase the time in security and take that much longer to board and get off the plane.

Charging for carry-on luggage pushes the luggage to checked — faster security, shorter lines, more room in the overhead bins, and quicker to move off the plane to the luggage carousel.

Yes, there will be some time spent getting luggage and, perhaps, a bit more lost luggage.

So one personal item to carry on and the rest is charged a premium. That should take care of your electronics and valuable personal items. The rest — just check it.

The customer experience should be a lot better. Not that the airlines care much about that.

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