Airline to charge for checking bags

LOS ANGELES With the busy Memorial Day weekend coming up, passengers are unhappy, but not shocked.

It's another way the high cost of fuel is being passed on to the consumer.

American Airlines announced Wednesday it will soon be charging each customer a $15 fee for checking bags, becoming the first airline in the country to apply the fee.

"It's tough. They have they're board meetings behind the closed doors and try to come up with solutions for survival probably and profit. That's all they go for is the profit," said air traveler Frank Maguire.

"It's just becoming such a hassle, but you don't have a choice if you're flying," said another traveler.

It's unclear if other airlines will follow suit. Delta Airlines has said already that it too is looking for ways to deal with record high fuel prices but has no intention of applying a check-in fee.

The baggage charge applied by American comes at a time when domestic air travel is down. Airlines have trimmed their flight schedule, resulting in fewer seats and higher costs.

Looking ahead to summer months, airport officials say domestic air travel will be down about 2 percent at LAX, while the number of international travelers who are enjoying favorable exchange rates will jump by 5 percent.

American Airlines will begin its new check-in charge on June 15.


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