Baggage fees remain intact despite cheaper gas prices

Baggage fees remain intact despite cheaper gas prices (Image 1)

Despite gas prices under $2 a gallon, airlines are still charging to check travelers' luggage, something they began when gas soared to more than $4 a gallon over the summer.

Now, with gas prices lower than they've been in years, many want to know why the baggage fees haven't been reduced or removed altogether.

According to the Air Transport Association, which represents most major U.S. airlines, baggage fees and a la cart pricing is still in effect because the airline industry is hemorrhaging money.

“I'd sum it up by saying the U.S. aviation industry will lose somewhere between $3 and $6 billion this year,” said David Castelveter, VP of communications for the Air Transport Association.  “We are not sticking it to anyone.”

Castelveter said for every $1 the price per barrel goes up, the industry loses $465 million.

“The price of jet fuel has been high much longer than it has been low,” he said.  “If an airline is not making money it is hard to justify giving up the revenue that might help you”

The Air Transport Association says most passengers prefer a la cart pricing.

The idea is if you don't carry a lot of bags or you don't eat on airplanes then you don't want to pay the price for those who do.

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