AirTran, American Add New Fees – But Do Airlines Also Need an Honesty Fee?

Brace yourselves, passengers – new fees are here:

AirTran Hikes Bag Fee

AirTran has boosted its fee for its first checked-bag, from $15 each-way to $20 each-way.

Why? Because they can – and airlines can use the extra revenue. For those of you who check a second bag with AirTran, you’ll be glad to know that $25 fee remains unchanged. On second thought, raise your hand if you check a second bag [counts hands]. Okay, I didn’t think so.

For more on fees, see the domestic airline fee chart covering bags, beverages, blankets and more.

American Adds Front Row Seating Fee

When you have a tight connection, you like to sit up front so you can get off the plane and head to your next gate ASAP, right?

Well, you’ll pay for that privilege on American Airlines from now on (unless of course, you’re one of the “elites”).

The new program is called “Express Seats” and it’s a way for American’s coach passengers to be among the first to board the plane, and get first crack at that ever-elusive overhead bin space. The cost is anywhere from $19 to $39 and it’s probably worth it if you have really tight connections.


Find a Great Deal on a Flight from Your Airport (Special Seating Not Included)


Other airlines have done this; Southwest’s EarlyBird seating comes to mind, and since Southwest has no reserved seats, I for one think it’s worth it (and I have used it). Would I do it otherwise – on an airline that does have reserved seating? I really don’t know.

Tell me if you would pay. Now – should you have to pay such a fee? Of course not – but this is the new reality.

Should Airlines Add an “Honesty Fee”?

Well since we’re talking about American Airlines, they’re in the news again, thanks to a veteran employee – a plane cleaner – who is accused of theft.

Actually, he’s accused of stealing scores of items on planes – items like phones, small electronic gizmos and more that were left behind by forgetful passengers. The take has been estimated by the cops as being worth around $7,500.

Quote of the Day – Zing!

The quote of the day comes from a Dallas Morning News reader, who commented on this story as follows:


“Those passengers/theft victims should have paid American Airlines’ “honesty fee”. For only $39 each flight, AA employees will refrain from stealing from you.” DMN reader, 8-19-10


Please, politically incorrect commenter – don’t give the airlines any more ideas.



Published: August 19, 2010