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AA's First-Bag Charge - How's It Working?  
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6842 times:

So, AA's first-bag charge has now been in place for two days and I'm curious to hear from anyone on the "front lines" how it's been going.

Since the charge only applies to passengers that purchased their tickets on or after June 15 (and does not apply to elites and others), I'm assuming that a relatively low percentage of passengers have incurred the fee thus far. Nevertheless, I'm curious to see if anyone has stories -- I did not expect AA to continue this policy now that CO and DL have said they will not follow.

So, any irate passengers? Glitches in the payment system? People trying to carry-on to avoid the fee? I'm disappointed as AA, my favorite US airline, will likely experience all of these in the coming weeks, but they should have known ...


"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6840 times:

Apparently very well since US, UA have adopted it, Oh, as has AS . . .

What a cheap shot . . . really . . .

Continuing dumbing down of the airline industry in the US.


User currently offlineMikey711MN From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1397 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6833 times:

Having flown AA today out of AUS, I noticed a number of the new signs are posted with the policy, but I didn't see anyone actually pony up for their checked bags (myself included, although my res was firmed up a few days ago and I was on a particularly full flight, i.e. few seats were available for walk-up anyway).

Waiting for everyone to get their bags in the overhead bins, I couldn't help but cringe at the spectre of added stress for those passengers who otherwise want to avoid the fee. Frankly, for the life of me, I just can't understand the policy. For whatever revenue gains there may be per flight, surely there will be an extra time expense per turnaround that would eat those gains up in a hurry.

I'll report back on my return flight Wednesday.

-Mike



I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21522 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6835 times:

You probably won't know for a while, since it has barely taken effect. What would be interesting, though, is if future bookings are down due to the charges. That would be a sign that the charge needs to be gotten rid of, and quickly.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6807 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
What would be interesting, though, is if future bookings are down due to the charges. That would be a sign that the charge needs to be gotten rid of, and quickly.

I think the sign that it should be dropped is the fact that CO and DL haven't jumped on board ...



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6785 times:



Quoting Ssides (Reply 4):
I think the sign that it should be dropped is the fact that CO and DL haven't jumped on board ...

They are wait-and-seeing. CO might even be sticking to its "principles" as a full quality airline.

Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 2):
For whatever revenue gains there may be per flight, surely there will be an extra time expense per turnaround

I agree. And what happens now with gate-checks... $15 charge? Surely people will argue loudly about being charged? And if there's no charge, won't everybody then haul their bags thru screening (slowing that down), onto the jetway, only to have it thrown in the hold, just like before?

I guess we'll see real soon over the next 30-60 days. I think there could be some nasty costs. But on the other hand, $15 per head ain't a bad amount of money. It won't be free money however.


User currently offlineMikey711MN From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1397 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6764 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
I agree. And what happens now with gate-checks... $15 charge? Surely people will argue loudly about being charged? And if there's no charge, won't everybody then haul their bags thru screening (slowing that down), onto the jetway, only to have it thrown in the hold, just like before?

Again, confusion. Per the AA FAQ of the policy, it does not allude one bit to the very common scenario of not enough overhead space for all carry-ons. I can't imagine how one could legitimately say to a passenger that while they abided by the carry-on policy, their bag simply won't fit and they must now pay the $15 checked-bag fee. I just can't see that happening, but God save the flight attendants if they're, in fact, instructed to collect under those circumstances.

As a sidebar, I've always wondered why such fee leviance couldn't be spun as, say, increasing fares across the board by x amount and offering a refund to those who carry-on (in this case). Heck, they wouldn't even need to refund cash, but rather vouchers on a future flight. (I realize that this would create havoc on what needs to be carried on the books.) But at least then the passenger feels a bit better about the transaction, having felt they received a benefit back by abiding by the desired policy versus feeling like they are just getting nickel-and-dimed, which surely leaves a bad impression with frequent fliers who feel they already pay more than their fair share.

-Mike



I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1358 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6749 times:

What about the common scenario with somebody that got on board with a large bag, that could fit in a bin if turned sideways and take up most of the bin?

User currently offlineAirNovaBAe146 From Canada, joined Jun 2008, 362 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6737 times:

Mikey711MN - I liked your idea. Problem is, it actually makes sense, and thats why AA/US/UA won't do it....

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5726 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6655 times:



Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 6):
Again, confusion. Per the AA FAQ of the policy, it does not allude one bit to the very common scenario of not enough overhead space for all carry-ons. I can't imagine how one could legitimately say to a passenger that while they abided by the carry-on policy, their bag simply won't fit and they must now pay the $15 checked-bag fee.

Not entirely, actually. If you're flying on a Saab or ATR or ERJ, and you have to gate check due to size, you still must pay $15, it seems.


User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3916 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6650 times:



Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 6):
Per the AA FAQ of the policy, it does not allude one bit to the very common scenario of not enough overhead space for all carry-ons.

Under-seat stowage is still allowed, is it not?

Quoting ADent (Reply 7):
What about the common scenario with somebody that got on board with a large bag, that could fit in a bin if turned sideways and take up most of the bin?

In Europe we have bag sizers which luggage must fit into to be carried aboard. If it does not fit, it gets checked, if it gets checked the fee must be paid, simple as that.

Brian.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlineMQTmxguy From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6602 times:



Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 10):
In Europe we have bag sizers which luggage must fit into to be carried aboard. If it does not fit, it gets checked, if it gets checked the fee must be paid, simple as that.

Not only do we have that also here in the US, but Indoor plumbing and electric lights too!

Even though those bag sizer things are at just about every ticket counter and gate podium, PAX still ignore them, and most CSAs just don't wanna get in a pissing match over it with them as long as it will fit somewhere. However I have noticed more agents recently telling PAX they have to valet check thier oversized luggage.



Well at least we can all take comfort in the fact that NW will never retire their DC-9s
User currently offlineMikey711MN From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1397 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6563 times:



Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 10):
Under-seat stowage is still allowed, is it not?

Fair enough, it certainly is. However, the majority of the problem is with the small suitcases that people take on day-trips or weekends. As a general rule, people continue to place small items like computer bags and purses under the seat in front of them unless there is ample room overhead.

Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 10):
In Europe we have bag sizers which luggage must fit into to be carried aboard. If it does not fit, it gets checked, if it gets checked the fee must be paid, simple as that.

The "Am I Too Big?" signs* are going to get a lot less comical then.  Smile

-Mike

* Brief public service announcement: do NOT try a Google Image Search for a picture of these signs. Oy!



I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6549 times:



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):

Not entirely, actually. If you're flying on a Saab or ATR or ERJ, and you have to gate check due to size, you still must pay $15, it seems.

I do not believe, however, that the charge applies to bags that are given the "valet" and collected planeside.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1553 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6451 times:



Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 10):
In Europe we have bag sizers which luggage must fit into to be carried aboard. If it does not fit, it gets checked, if it gets checked the fee must be paid, simple as that.

Here here.....Why do we not go to that system here in the US? People try to carry every thing on including the kitchen sink. Lets crack down on the size and quantity of these carry ons and stick to it.

Quoting Ssides (Reply 13):
I do not believe, however, that the charge applies to bags that are given the "valet" and collected planeside.

That is correct. No money is being collected for the valet bags.



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,388,146,CR2,7,ERJ,
User currently offlineMikey711MN From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1397 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6351 times:



Quoting DTW757 (Reply 14):
That is correct. No money is being collected for the valet bags.

Interesting. So, in effect, if you can get it through the TSA scanners and their determination of whether your bag will fit on the plane or not, you're relieved of the $15 due...?

-Mike



I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
User currently offlineGoAllegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6257 times:



Quoting MQTmxguy (Reply 11):
Even though those bag sizer things are at just about every ticket counter and gate podium, PAX still ignore them, and most CSAs just don't wanna get in a pissing match over it with them as long as it will fit somewhere. However I have noticed more agents recently telling PAX they have to valet check thier oversized luggage.

Yes, these bag sizer devices are used about as much as the travel insurance counters in the airports. They probably would screen out about 25% of the carry on luggage if the airlines enforced the size restrictions.


User currently offlineMeteorologist From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6112 times:



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
Apparently very well since US, UA have adopted it, Oh, as has AS . . .

When did AS announce they would match the first bag charge? I haven't seen anything about that, nor have I seen it on their webpage.


User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6049 times:



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
Not entirely, actually. If you're flying on a Saab or ATR or ERJ, and you have to gate check due to size, you still must pay $15, it seems.

Better not.


User currently offlineWatchandlearn From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5989 times:



Quoting Meteorologist (Reply 17):

They haven't. ANCFlyer was probably thinking of the second bag $25 fee.


User currently offlineMt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6573 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5912 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

What is ur bag does not arrive? Get a refund?


Step into my office, baby
User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2793 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5900 times:



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 20):
What is ur bag does not arrive? Get a refund?

That would be nice, but unfortunately no...


User currently offlineBaron95 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1335 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5848 times:

AA flyers can be broken down into:
1 - International F and C class paying personal fares.
2 - International F and C class under corporate contracts.
3 - International unrestricted Y fares by elite and loyal travelers.
4 - International unrestricted Y fares by non-elite traveler
5 - International restricted Y fares by elite and loyal travelers.
6 - International restricted Y fares by non-elite travelers.
7 - Domestic F and C class paying personal fares.
8 - Domestic F and C class under corporate contracts.
9 - Domestic unrestricted Y fares by elite and loyal travelers.
10 - Domestic unrestricted Y fares by non-elite traveler
11 - Domestic restricted Y fares by elite and loyal travelers.
12 - Domestic restricted Y fares by non-elite travelers checking no bags
13 - Domestic restricted Y fares by non-elite travelers checking bags <====== these are the only ones subject to the first bag fee.

My question is what percentage of the AA flying public falls into category 13 and will actually be impacted by this?

Wild guess calculation: 50% of the flying is domestic, 50% of domestic passengers don't check bags, 50% of those that do are either in F/C, elite or traveling with an elite pasenger. So that tells me that about 12% of passengers (1 in 8) give or take will be affected.

Anyone knows what the real numbers are?



Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
User currently offlineDTW757 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1553 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5786 times:



Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 15):
Interesting. So, in effect, if you can get it through the TSA scanners and their determination of whether your bag will fit on the plane or not, you're relieved of the $15 due...?

In effect yes. However most rollerboards will not fit into ERJ's, Saabs, or ATR overhead bins. Therefore those bags are checked at the gate and the pax picks them back up at the gate at the next stop. Those bags are not being charged the $15.



721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,388,146,CR2,7,ERJ,
User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5690 times:



Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 6):
As a sidebar, I've always wondered why such fee leviance couldn't be spun as, say, increasing fares across the board by x amount and offering a refund to those who carry-on (in this case).

Air Canada has effectively been doing this for a while now. They call it à la carte pricing. When purchasing your ticket, you get your base fare then you go to the next page which offers you options like whether or not you want to collect frequent flier points (subtract $3), check bags (subtract $3), ability to change your flight (subtract $5). Also, you can add fees for services, like seat pre-selection (add $20), flight disruption insurance (add $35. This is Air Canada's service that essentially ensures that if anything happens with your flight, you'll be more-or-less prioritized with getting rebooked on another flight), food voucher for the on board café (add $6, $8 value).

So, you can, at least on one airline, add or subtract services as you want to pay for them.

LH423



« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
25 Ikramerica : I thought the same thing. Offer something like CO's Continental Currency where you get a free drink. Used to be free headphones too, except those cos
26 Chrisair : They have? You got a link for that?
27 Dispatchguy : My question is how are they handling it? With a paper special service ticket/MCO that is handwritten at point of checkin, or are those now electronic.
28 Post contains links Srbmod : What's funny is I was watching CNN on Sunday morning and they were talking about the fee for the first checked bag and they actually had a graphic st
29 WorldTraveler : AA’s bag fee is expected to impact 33% of its domestic passengers. AA gets about 65% of its revenue and RPMs from domestic (35% int’l) but passeng
30 SmAlbany : I think that this misses the whole point of why they are doing this in the first place. The concept is to raise revenue without raising the base fare
31 Mikey711MN : I'm not sure I agree, actually. And I'd give credit to an a.netter who put it this way on a similar thread some time ago... The $15 x however many ba
32 Ikramerica : Not in Los Angeles. Parking tickets are increased as a source of additional revenue for the city to plug budget holes. Our kind mayor plans to increa
33 Xtoler : I'd just as soon pay additional $15 bucks on my ticket than having to worry about my bag. My Travel Pro is within the size limit for fitting on mainli
34 SFO2SVO : So I flew a few times to one of our remote offices for couple days - with just a small overnighter bag. I had to bring a special tool for a piece of e
35 AirframeAS : AS is doing that? Source?
36 FlyguyPBI : Stress for passengers, of course....... let's not forget the FA's . It is going to be a nightmare when PAX start trying to carry everything on board
37 Post contains links DeltAirlines : AS is indeed checking for the second checked bag. First is free, second is $25, third is $100. http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/help/faqs/CheckedBagg
38 DTWAGENT : I personaly think this charge is crazy. Now I hav client calling my office wanting me as a travel agent to pay them back for the baggage charges. And
39 Revelation : I agree. One more hassle factor for PAX, one more reason for CSAs to get more grumpy, one more reason to reconsider if I really do want to travel by
40 Ckfred : A friend of mine is a pilot with AA. If the amount of carry-on bags increases, he thinks AA will have no choice but to add to the turnaround times be
41 Ssides : Did this client book his ticket before June 15? Because the determining factor in whether the charge is added is when the ticket is purchased, not th
42 Baron95 : It is a problem only for airlines flying decrepit fleets of DC9s, MD80s older 737s/757s/767s with old style bins. I have never seen overhead bin stor
43 Crjflyer35 : Isn't that pretty much what US is doing with their a la carte pricing just announced? I mean, really, it's basically the same thing...do you need a c
44 Avalon2862 : You're such an angry, unhappy woman!!
45 AirframeAS : Thanks for the link, however, the third is $125.
46 44k : The interior of AA MD80's is new'ish. The state of the inside is surely not "decrepit" and the new bins are huge.
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