baggageToday Delta Air Lines boosted its baggage fees for domestic travel to $23 for the first checked bag and $32 for the second one, up from $15 and $25, respectively.  Of course, that’s if you pay in advance online.  If you check your bags at the airport (which I’m assuming most people do), Delta is going to sting you for $25 on the first bag and $35 for the second one.

This fee hike shouldn’t come as any surprise for frequent Delta customers as it’s clearly the most aggressive carrier in it’s fee-collection activities.   A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reveals that Delta’s ancillary revenue efforts – which brought in $447.5 million in Q3 2009 – has no rival.  American Airlines was a distant second with $261.2 million for the quarter.  Plus, when you take into account that Delta and its subsidiary, Northwest Airlines report their numbers separately, then the combined ancillary revenue is a whopping $670.8 million.

So, how can you avoid these fees?  Well, here’s some tips:

1. Pack light so that everything fits in a single carry-on suitcase.  Check out websites like OneBag.com for suggested packing lists that can help you cut down on your luggage.

2. Ship excess clothes ahead of time.  A large priority mail flat-rate package will hold two-thirds of what a carry-on does for about $14.50.

3. Fly JetBlue or Southwest – which don’t charge for the first checked bag.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • USAToday business travel columnist, David Grossman has noted that, “2010 may prove to be a less turbulent and more benign year for air travelers.”  Wondering why?  Well, to find out, read the eight factors that are likely to affect air travel this year for business travelers.
  • Late last week, a three-year-old boy took a frightening and unusual journey at Copenhagen Airport, travelling through the entire baggage belt system before being rescued.  The boy and his mother were checking in for a flight when the boy hopped onto an unattended baggage belt at the check-in area.  His mother was distracted while looking for her travel documents, and neither she nor airline staff noticed the boy’s departure down the baggage belt.  The boy travelled right through the system, including the baggage x-ray machine, which directed him to an area for bags to be handled manually because he had no baggage identification tag.  At this point, an airport worker heard his cries and rescued him from the machinery.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board said today it is investigating Sunday’s emergency landing of a United Airlines flight at Newark Liberty International Airport after a landing gear malfunction.  One early discovery thus far: The radio system used by the gound rescue team crashed just when it was needed most.  But by the time rescue teams were in place, their radios went dead, apparently because of utility work nearby.