As of Thursday morning, Continental had joined US Airways and American in raising to $50 the fee for a second checked bag on flights to Europe and U.S. overseas territories. Don't be surprised if other transatlantic carriers also boost their fees, giving you something else to figure into the cost of a trip to Europe unless you can get by with just one piece of checked luggage.
Here's what we posted on Wednesday afternoon:
US Airways just announced an increase in its checked-bag fees, matching what American has done. Starting with tickets sold today for travel Oct. 7 or after, the first checked bag will cost each passenger $20 if you check in online, or $25 if it's done at the airport. The second bag checked will be $30 if checking in online or $35 if you do it at the airport. As usual, the fees don't apply if you're traveling first or business class or are a "preferred" member of the frequent-flier program.
US Airways also said it would match, and go further, than American's new $50 fee for a second checked bag on overseas flights. (plus $5 if you check in at the airport instead of online). US Airways will charge the fee for all European destinations while American put out a list of countries where it will apply.
The airline has a decent, easy-to-read page on its Web site on is bag policies: http://www2.usairways.com/en-US/traveltools/baggage/baggagepolicies.html:
US Airways president Scott Kirby told employees in a notice today that the airline would also be "vigilant" in making sure carry-on bags are regulation size. Airlines have seen an increase in carry-ons since they started charging checked fees last year, and the more the fees go up, the more of that they're going to get. The airlines have adopted some size restrictions recently, so it pays to look at the US Airways site, or go to your airlines' Web site using the links in the right-hand column of this blog, to try to learn all that you can.
I will take a closer look at what some airline CEOs think about fees in a future column, probably next Monday, so stand by.