Airline baggage fees about to increase

Baltimore Shooter

Well-known member
From Yahoo:
Baggage Fees Take Off

When airline baggage surcharges first popped up several years ago, passengers were understandably outraged. Eventually the practice became commonplace, as more and more airlines charged customers to check their luggage.

Customers' grudging acceptance may be about to end. Delta Airlines recently announced that they are increasing their baggage fees. Previously, Delta's customers were charged $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second. Ah, those were the days! Now, passengers can expect to fork over $23 for the first bag and $32 for the second.

Adding insult to injury, Continental Airlines has announced that they too are increasing their baggage fees to match Delta's. In the aftermath of the announcement, Web searches on "baggage fee rates" and "delta baggage fees" both shot up into triple digits. Clearly, folks want to know just how much each airline charges, before booking their next trip.

We did a bit of research on the major carriers' official sites and came up with this handy list of what you can expect to pay for the privilege of checking your underwear and toothbrush. All fees are for non-refundable coach flights within the United States. Also, keep in mind that fees can be higher if you pay them at the airport vs. online. There are also other possible exceptions, depending on your frequent flyer status, etc. Isn't traveling fun? Bon voyage!

* Alaska Airlines: $15 for the first bag, $25 for the second.
* American Airlines: $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second.
* Continental Airlines: $23 for the first, $32 for the second..
* Delta Airlines: $23 for the first, $32 for the second.
* JetBlue Airlines: first bag free, second bag will cost you $30.
* Northwest Airlines: first bag $23, second bag $32.
* Southwest Airlines: two bags for free. Really.
* United Airlines: when fees paid online, $15 for the first bag, and $25 for the second. When paid at the airport, $5 more for each bag.
* Virgin America: $20 for the first, $20 for the second.



Well-known member
A number of airlines used to offer discounted rates for photography and video equipment. I'm not sure if they still do, if you search each company's website's baggage policy it's buried pretty deep. I started to carry their policy as many of the airline people didn't know the policy. One guy at MSP for Northwest said he had worked there for 20 years and had never heard of it...Took me about five minutes to find their policy.


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I believe American Airlines has one as well, but theirs might be a deal they cut with each company, as the times I had to fly them they would ask which company I was with and look it up that way. I know Fox has a discounted rate with American, not a great rate, but when you have to put it on your own card and get reimbursed it helps.


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Oh also as a side note I read the NWA/Delta fee's that are lsited above are the fees you'll pay if you pay in advance when you check in online. If you pay for your luggage at the counter/skycap it goes up to 25/35.

Tv Shooter

Well-known member
Delta/Northwest has a media rate of $50/bag with weight up to 70 lbs. I believe this is good up to 8 or 10 pieces.
Airtran has a rate of $35/bag with weight to 70 as well. No word as to a limit with them.
You must provide a media ID when asking for media rate. If the counter person doesn't know about it, ask for a supervisor. Many airports don't see alot of media, and therefore have no idea the deal is in there.
I have placed a call to Delta to see if that rate will stay in place, but as of this morning, have not heard from anyone....not that I expect to anyway.


Well-known member
Southwest is my favorite airline to fly. $50 per bag and I have never been charged with overweight fees and I have several cases that hover around or just above 70 lbs. They also let media preboard so you don't have to worry about space in the overhead bins to store your cameras.

On the other side, USAir is the worst. Last time I flew USAir they charged me 1200.00 one way just for baggage. The gate agent told me that I needed a first class ticket to get free bags and lower overweight charges...but that the ticket must have been purchased in advance, no upgrades at the counter. After what ended up being a $1600.00 one way ticket I got no meal on the three hour flight and the staff was rude. One flight attendant yelled at a customer for trying to get past her in the isle since she was blocking the way to his seat with her beverage cart. He went to wait in the back of the plane and she yelled at him again for being in a secure area. It was a little entertaining but I felt bad for the guy...


Well-known member
US Air is the worst. I can remember I had to fly them to Buffalo, and I was pretty bare bones, only a suitcase and 2 TV related cases being checked, and it cost more for my luggage to fly than it did for me. Pretty sad when you're only talking about 3 pieces going underneath. That is why I am so glad Southwest is finally flying out of Minneapolis. If I could only convince the people that book our travel that Southwest rocks... maybe they'll finally start to get it when it hits the only thing they pay attention to, their wallets.

zac love

Well-known member
I'm getting more & more of a feeling that everyone in the airline business wants to get a new job. So the airlines, TSA, & everyone else in between keep trying to come up with new inconveniences to try to discourage us from flying & eventually we'll all give in & just stay home.

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Ridin' the rails

We've moved some of our client-based travel to the train. Airline tickets in Canada are generally expensive, some are exorbitant, and the train is often cheaper when you consider all of the associated costs. Combine that with the wait times, long drive to the airport, airport parking, the security hassles (last flight - emptied my camera bag and every single bag / box inside it - plus a full body scan - plus a full pat down - and confiscated a couple of vinyl cable ties).

They're overnight trips - with wine and dinner in the dining car, the bar / observation car in the evening, a shower in the morning, breakfast while we roll into town. Right downtown.

The train trips have been a hit with the freelancers we occasionally hire.



Well-known member
So that's $3,200 round trip, yikes! Did the client freak out about it?

I'm staff so the company pays for everything...I think I had them book Southwest on the way back though but since it was breaking news they just wanted to get me out there asap and they really don't ever care about production costs. Meals they go over with a fine tooth comb though, go figure.


Well-known member
Northwest policy:

Professional Audio/Visual Equipment: Northwest accepts cameras, lighting, sound, and film equipment when tendered by representatives of TV broadcasting companies, commercial film-making companies, or photography companies. Northwest accepts professional audio/visual equipment as checked baggage only. Professional audio/visual equipment will be accepted as part of the baggage allowance. A charge of USD $15 applies to the first checked item, USD $25 for the second checked item, USD $125 for the third checked item if under 50 lbs/62" (USD $175 if this item exceeds these measurements), and USD $175 for the fourth/subsequent item, on domestic flights only. For international travel, this type of equipment would be subject to normal excess charges. Baggage charges are each-way.

Delta policy:

United policy: Could not find a specific mention of video equipment,6722,52906,00.html#checked_bag

Southwest policy:

US Airways policy: Could not find a specific mention of video equipment

Frontier Airlines:

I'm with the media and travel with a lot of equipment; what is your policy if I present a press card?

A representative of a network or broadcasting company, or a film or video production company, may check camera film, videotapes, lighting, and sound equipment for a flat fee of $25 each when checking in with Frontier Airlines only. No oversize or overweight charges apply although baggage may not exceed 62 linear inches or 99.9 lbs.

American Airlines: Items

Audio/Visual Equipment
Camera, film, lighting, and sound equipment (up to a maximum of 115 in/292 cm and 100 lbs/45 kgs) will be charged a rate of $50.00 per piece when tendered by representatives of network or local television broadcasting companies, commercial film-making companies, professional photographers, the federal government, Department of Defense or the American Society of Media Photographers. These rates apply to travel within the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Midwest Airline:

Continental Airline:

Air Tran:

News media personnel
An exception rate of $35 per piece for oversize/overweight equipment is extended to representatives of news networks, local television broadcasting companies, commercial film making companies or independent media personnel for the transportation of cameras, film, lighting and sound equipment. This rate is still subject to first, second and excess baggage fees. All persons requesting the media rate must present valid photo identification with company insignia upon check-in.

Sun Country:


For those who want to travel by air, watch your luggage as you may pay more airline fees than you are expecting. Some airlines are charging more fees as air travel market is not doing incredibly well currently these days. Therefore, if you are planning to travel, make sure you are aware of the fees you are going to pay.