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jul 30

Delta raises baggage fees--again--and consumers lash out

In the latest in the seemingly never-ending series of announcements by airlines on the new fees they are levying on customers, Delta said yesterday that it will now charge people $50 each way to check a second bag on domestic flights, double the current $25. The news itself is not incredibly surprising, given that most airlines have now started charging something to check luggage, be it for the first bag or the second. (Starting Aug. 1, US Airways will even start charging passengers $2 for a Coke or a bottle of water.)

What does strike me in relation to the constant stream of new fees by the airlines is the increasingly negative reaction of people who fly regularly. Rather than becoming inured to all the extra fees, passengers are becoming more and more incensed. Just take a look at a sample of comments posted by readers of the Consumerist blog in reaction to the latest Delta announcement:

"Does this strike anyone else as INSANE? They are getting greedier by the second. Soon breathing in their planes will carry a charge."

"This is getting out of hand. I'd rather see them raise ticket prices a little bit then continue to go crazy with fees."

"The airlines will always be bloated (and) mismanaged. ...If passengers would revolt and quit flying, maybe something would change."

And my personal favorite:

"I swear, the next time I have to fly I am bringing a fifty pound bag of gravel and a bunch of Styrofoam blocks with me. When I put my bag on the scale to be weighed, I am going to add gravel until it's .001 pounds under. Then I'm going to duct-tape Styrofoam blocks to the outside until it measures exactly the number of linear inches listed. If they're gonna nickle & dime me to death, I'm gonna get every gram of my size & weight allowance."

In all seriousness, what can airline passengers do in reaction to all the fees? Are there any avenues left, short of not flying?

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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