August 26, 2009

US Airways raises baggage fees

U.S. air carrier US Airways said Wednesday it is raising its baggage fees to $20 for the first bag and $30 for a second piece, matching American Airlines.

The carrier, based in Pittsburgh, announced on its Web site it would charge $50 for the second bag on flights to Europe, saying the new fee structure would take effect Oct. 7, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The newspaper said American raised its baggage fees to those levels starting with tickets purchased Aug. 14. American also slapped a $50 second-bag fee starting Sept. 14 on flights to Belgium, Ireland, England, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and India.

In our opinion, these higher fees indicate recent airfare increases have been marginal, and the near term outlook for substantial yield growth remains poor, the Morning News quoted airline analyst Hunter Keay of Stifel Nicolaus as saying in a report. Despite currently strong load factors and evidence of improved close-in bookings, passenger volumes are almost certainly, in our view, about to fall precipitously after Labor Day.