Today 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.
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