Airline Luggage Fees Are Good For Travelers
ATLANTA—Attention air travelers: That tug at your wallet is about to happen again, courtesy of the world’s biggest airline.
Delta Air Lines Inc. is raising its fees to check your first bag on a domestic flight by $8 and the second bag by $7. That will mean $23 for the first bag and $32 for the second.
While submitting to fees to check baggage is most certainly irritating, it is nonetheless good for the average traveler. Because airlines have increasingly adopted an a la carte approach to services, tickets have remained remarkably affordable.
Some time ago, the American airline industry took a collectivist approach to pricing. Whether or not you checked baggage, used the headphones, or drank a ton of those mini booze bottles (and why not?), you paid for the privilege of doing so through higher ticket prices. That is to say: those who didn’t check baggage subsidized those who did. The result of this pricing scheme was terribly expensive ticket prices for all – and, consequently, a dearth of mobility and liberty for the average American.
Because many airlines now charge openly for services that were once hidden in higher ticket prices, flying has become remarkably affordable – even on major international carriers like Delta. The prices for luggage transport, food, beverage, and entertainment have by and large been stripped for ticket prices. The subsequent democratization of flying has meant a more free, interconnected, and cosmopolitan world.
How has this happened? The answer is, so to speak, in the bag.