Airlines go after carry-on luggage

A second U.S. carrier has begun charging for carry-on luggage that goes into overhead bins.

By Kim Peterson Apr 3, 2012 3:05PM
Image: Man pulling suitcase in airport © Keith Brofsky/UpperCut Images/Getty ImagesIf you bring your own bag on an Allegiant Air (ALGT) flight and put it in an overhead bin, it will cost you.

The airline said it start charging a $35 fee to passengers who take up overhead space. I imagine Allegiant will soon have the roomiest overhead bins in the business.

You can still bring a purse or a briefcase with you for free, as long as it fits under the seat. Anything bigger than that, and you'll have to pay.

You might also have the option to reserve overhead space in advance for a smaller fee, but Allegiant hasn't said what that fee will be.

Shareholders applauded the move. Allegiant shares rose nearly 3% Tuesday to $56.69.

The other airlines are paying close attention to this one. Allegiant isn't the first U.S. carrier to charge for carry-ons. Spirit Airlines said in 2010 it would charge as much as $45 for a carry-on bag, and said the move would help it lower fares and improve in-flight safety.

Is this the start of an industry-wide trend? The Boston Globe calls Allegiant's move "another domino in the run toward carry-on baggage fees for all."

The carry-on fee is a natural sequel to the industry's move to charge for checked luggage. Only Southwest (LUV) still allows travelers to check two bags for free, and most other airlines charge to check anything. As a result, more travelers started lugging huge carry-on bags with them.

The revenue from fees and other "nonticket" items rose to $32.5 billion for the industry last year -- and that shows no signs of slowing. Airlines are getting increasingly creative with fees, tempting travelers with things like flight interruption insurance, The New York Times reports. One airline, Air New Zealand, has even begun offering debit cards.

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Tags: LUV
Apr 3, 2012 7:59PM

'The move would help it lower fares'.


So if it used to be $200 a ticket and now it only costs $185 a ticket...but then you add in the carry on bag fee of $35 it ends up actually being $220 a ticket!!

So they 'raised' fares after all.

Not that stupid, sorry.


Nope. Won't be flying Allegiant. -What do you think about that, shareholders?!

Apr 3, 2012 4:57PM
The solution is obvious.  Fly Southwest Airilines every chance you get. No bag fees, its all rolled into the price of the ticket like it should be.
Apr 3, 2012 7:20PM
What this country needs is a consumer strike against the airlines.  Wouldn't it be great if we all decided that for one week nobody would book a fllight.  I propose the week of May 14th - everyone stay home or drive that week.  What do you think??
Apr 3, 2012 6:04PM
Add this one to the list of airlines I'll not do busness with.
Apr 3, 2012 10:49PM
My wife and I booked our honeymoon to Hawaii nine months in advance through American Airlines.  We found the perfect flight, as the departure and arrival times were exactly what we wanted.  We live in a smaller city, and only have a regional airport so sometimes our options are limited to certain times of the day.  Five months later we received an e-mail saying only that we were no longer on the depature flight that we had booked, and would be leaving at a later time on a different flight.  The return flight was to be the same.  Three months after that, we received an e-mail saying that both of our flights had been changed.  When we looked at the flights, we noticed that we would be arriving at our first connection 90 minutes after our second flight had already left.  So we called them up again to point this out, and after spending literally two hours on the phone with I can't remember how many different people, they fixed it so at least we would get to where we were going.  We now had four connections each way (what do you think the odds were on them losing at least some of our luggage?)  A week before our flight they e-mailed us to let us know that our first flight had been canceled.  When I called, the person I spoke to said they could try to get us on the next day's flight, but that was the best they could do.  When I said I thought that was unacceptable, the representative basically said there was nothing that could be done.  I cancelled our flights and booked through an airline I have never had a problem with in the past.  After we got back I tried to talk to I don't know how many different layers in their customer service department, but basically received only indifference and empty promises.  I will never fly on American Airlines, I tell everyone I meet about the terrible treatment we received, and will continue to do so for the rest of my days.
Apr 3, 2012 6:14PM
I just decided to drive to Myrtle beach.  The fair on Spirir Air was only $600. If i wanted to take my wife and 3 bags, it was up to $1000.  As a seasoned travaler, i use to fly 50k to 100k a year I decided to drive and take a leisurely trip instead of being raped by an airline..  An over nite and nice dinner will still be cheaper that flying both ways.
Apr 4, 2012 11:11AM
I'm OK if airlines charge for carry on bags but ONLY those bags that don't fit!! Specifically I talking about those bags that people try to fit in the overhead but then have to be checked at the ramp. Those people more likely than not, know ahead of time that their bag won't fit in the overhead but try to get away with it anyhow. They are the ones that cause the greatest disruption.

I should not get charged for my soft-sided bag that is too big to fit under a seat, but does easily fit in the overhead.

Speaking of overhead....anyone caught putting their carry on bag in the overhead more than 2 rows away from their seat should have their bags tossed onto the tarmac!!!!! Their selfishness does nothing but add to frustration of others trying to find space, and it causes undue delay.

Apr 3, 2012 4:55PM

Come to Southwest Airlines where there are no bag fees.  Love it that other airlines do this.  It only helps Southwest Airlines. 


Thank you other airlines!

Apr 3, 2012 6:16PM

So the airlines started charging for any checked luggage.....I started packing less and made it fit in my carry-on luggage so I would not have to pay extra (and my luggage got lost several times which is why I prefer to carry it myself!).  NOW they want to start charging for my carry-on luggage too!!!!  Not cool.  It is my guess (and I think its a pretty good one) that majority of people who fly somewhere WILL have some sort of luggage, whether it is checked or a carry-on.  Please tell me that the cost of flights will go down now?!?!?!? 

I hate have to wait in long lines, are already restricted on what you can even bring on the plane, and they rarely go as planned, which even when that happens they rarely take full responsibility.  We pay a significant amount of money to fly and now you want to charge even more for luggage that you know passengers have to bring on. 

It's a slap in the face!  Why don't you start charging to use the toilet, or overhead air, or overhead lights....this is getting way out of hand!  Maybe you need a little refresher on morals and ethics!!!!!

Apr 3, 2012 6:23PM
Sounds like a bunch of BS and the ticket pricing is now shown to be a sham. Seats are not fun to sit in beyond the time it takes to get the plane off the ground and the flight crews are not always very pleasant. I think more car trips are in my future.
Apr 3, 2012 6:06PM
It might just be cheaper to ship your bags UPS ground or Fed Ex to your destination.  I have been seeing the larger and larger "carry ons" on Allegiant and US Airways for months as airlines increased checked baggage fees.  This is truly an inconvenience and causes delays as passengers try to fit their large bags in the overhead bins.  Airlines should allow a free carry on and ENFORCE the size regulations.  
Apr 3, 2012 4:31PM
Most airlines state you can carry on one bag and one personal item (purse, computer bag). Why do they allow passengers to carry on two bags and a backpack. I flew yesterday and couldn't believe how many people did this. Why not designate a space in the overhead compartment for each seat. What you can't stow in your own compartment goes under your seat. Problem solved.
Apr 3, 2012 4:12PM
Pretty soon they will charge us for breathng on a plane
Apr 3, 2012 7:52PM
Ship  you  luggage ahead.    The reason  many   prefer carry  on   is to  safe guard   their  valuables.  I  sure as  heck  am  not trusting  my   camera gear  to   the thugs  in  baggage.  If  it isn't stolen   it is crushed.    Since   I am  not planning  on  international  travel   I bought a motor  home,  no  bed bug worries,  no  TSA,  No  cramped  spaces,  and  my  luggage  is with  me,  plus  it gets 15mpg.    ByeBye  air  travel.
Apr 4, 2012 4:42AM

its just all so simple.....the seats are way too close so you eye the emergency seats and notice that they give more leg room so you want one of them. Now the airlines call that seat the "economy plus" and they charge more for them. You are on a four hour flight and you get a bit hungry and perhaps they will give you something to eat, but you just get a small juice and find they charge for the salted peanuts. You see they have an online movie but they charge for the headphones to hear it. You are sleepy and they charge for a pillow. Now you are cramped in a much too small area, hungry, thristy, tired and pissed after having been charged ALOT of cash for all this wonderful service never mind what what happened to you back at the nice TSA check points. Then one day someone has had enough and just snaps ! and we all think OMG its a terriorist and they drag this poor soul off to god only knows.

         In a nut shell these airlines are making your "economy" flying so bad your more then happy to pay two times the price to fly first class so you get roomy seats, good food, two free checked bags, Bose headsets so you never hear the aircraft noise as you sleep in your seat thats almost like a bed, first on the plane/ first off and after all this you arrive at your city more rested then when you start your flight.

    For the rest of us, its just all "back of the bus" and dont cry or they might put you on the "no fly list"

Apr 4, 2012 1:02AM
Cappidad you are so right.  Southwest is just about the only airline worth flying in the US now.  At Southwest they still understand that they have a job because of their customers.  As an employee owned airline they still have pride of ownership and this shows from the time you first have contact with any of the employees until you deplane the plane.  Southwest gets it that a person reasonably expects to take along at least one change of clothes in a carryon at no extra charge - and in fact they still allow two bags, which one rarely uses but it is good to know that option is there.  Southwest also gets it that people are not going to deal with the hassle and garbage of the so called majors and their stupidly overpaid union employees.  Bye bye Allegiant (an airline I've never heard of in my 30 years of business travel and tens of thousands of airmiles for 20 plus of those 30 years) and other Allegiant gougers.  I've been flying Southwest since they had three planes circulating all day long between SAT-HOU-DAL in the 1970s and this will continue for another 40 years should I live so long.  Thanks Southwest and a pox on all the gouger airlines.
Apr 4, 2012 10:43AM
Pretty soon I'll leave everything at home dress like the Michelin Tire Man and buy my underwear at my destination.

Damn just realized then they would charge me double fair for looking fat.
Apr 3, 2012 7:40PM
Boycott these two airlines and put them out of business. Greed needs to be crushed. These companies are run by pigs.
Apr 3, 2012 11:33PM
Last year I flew Allegiant and they are the most mendacious and disreputable airline I Have ever set foot on. They can not think of enough short of hiring company pickpockets. When I asked them what a $30.00 dollar charge was for they claimed it was a "convenience fee' because I used my own computer to book a flight. As far as I am concerned they cannot go BANKRUPT fast enough.
Apr 3, 2012 4:44PM
How about actually enforcing the carry on limits that are supposed to be in place? I don't fly that often but I cannot believe how much stuff people carry on in bags, (yes, BAG-S) and cram into more than their share of overhead. Then it takes even longer to get out of the plane because these clowns can't get all their bags out quickly.    Rule should be:   1 BAG up to a certain size per person....
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