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Did I read this right? No free baggage with United?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
"If you purchase a United Economy® ticket on or after June 13, 2008 for travel on or after August 18, 2008, a $15 service fee will apply, each way, to check your first piece of baggage. This fee applies to travel within the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. "
post #2 of 26
yup.....first checked bag is $15.... $25 a bag for additional... think this will hurt tourism big time and flight times increase as people try to get more luggage onto plane.
post #3 of 26
American did this about a month ago. US Airways just announced they will do it too. That makes 3 of the 6 major "legacy" carriers charging from the first bag, if you don't have elite status with them or their partners. I expect that Continental, Delta, and Northwest will promptly follow.

BTW, in the same announcement, US Airways will now charge for soft drinks and even for bottled water.

This is getting disgusting. I'm usually a supporter of the legacy airline concept versus the Southwest/jetBlue limited coverage low-cost airlines for anyone who does mixed domestic and international travel, but at this point they're degrading the concept and product too much.
post #4 of 26
Got that e-mail too.
post #5 of 26
If you regard it as just a $15 rise in ticket prices, it isn't really all that problematic.

The charging for drinks is just annoyingly stupid, because it makes both you and the attendants deal with cash on the plane.
post #6 of 26
There has never been "free" luggage, any more than there were "free" meals. The cost of providing this service was included in the price of the ticket, and you paid for it whether you used it or not.

What's going on here is that the airlines are getting killed by rising fuel prices and need to do something. They could raise ticket prices across the board, or find some other way to do it. The baggage charge is one option.

It costs money to handle and fly baggage. Why should the people without baggage subsidize the the rest of us?
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
It's not the cost. It's the impression of being nickled and dimed.

Let's see what comes next, MacDonalds charging extra for their catch-up?
post #8 of 26
Agree with NYC that its not the cost its how its executed. I'd rather have it baked in to the ticket. It just never ends with the airlines...their business model is completely broken and this is the consequence. Imagine what the cost will be when you bring skis now as well. The other unintended consequence is what a mess it will things inside the cabin. Everyone will try to cram more stuff into the overhead and there will be flareups and frustration when stuff doesn't fit. Air travel has really gotten bad and this will only add to it. I will try to support carriers that don't do this kind of stuff but its hard when routes are limited to certain cities.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
It's not the cost. It's the impression of being nickled and dimed.
maybe they think that their major volume of flyers will be conditioned enough by current economic climate not to regard it as nickel and diming, and to further accept future *100% self-catered amenities* flights. Bingo -> reduce air crew workload, reduce air crew numbers.

Quote:
Let's see what comes next, MacDonalds charging extra for their catch-up?
Interesting. . .
post #10 of 26
$15 for first check bag = People not checking luggage = less weight on flights = fuel savings.

$15 for first check bag = People not checking luggage = people carrying on luggage = good luck finding space in the overhead bins....

Just add $15 to my ticket. Ignorance is bliss.
post #11 of 26
It doesn't take a whole lot of flying to achieve United's lowest level of "elite" status (Premier), in which case the bag fees are waived, both for the primary traveler and anyone traveling with them. I agree, though; I'd rather have it as a fare increase.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
As a not-so-frequent flyer of both leasure and (self-funded) business type. I have mixed feeling about the luggage charge. The saving isn't so much in the fuel. They're most likely planning to layoff baggage handlers when people don't check bags! That, would be much greater cost saving to the airlines than the extra fuel cost of 10-20 bags.

But about the charge for drinks and food business, that's got to be a zero-sum game! Instead of the pre-packaged food, now people buy them from vendors at airport or from home, with TONS of packaging, which turns into garbage they have to collect and dump. Not to mention the cleaning associated with all those smelly home cooked food. I would guess the cost saving would be close to nil. Last few times I flew, very few people pay to eat onboard. So they're not generating any money from it.

Hey, people had been complaining about how bad the airline food is and how often their bags got lost. So the airlines took those things away so there'll be no complains any more!
post #13 of 26
you guys just arent being creative enough to get around these problems.

all you have to do is just wear a ski-bib. you can cram all your extra cloths in the bib and put your toiletries in your carry-on. ta-da, no bag checked.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
If you regard it as just a $15 rise in ticket prices, it isn't really all that problematic.
$30, actually, assuming you have a round trip ticket. But, yes, you now need to understand how many bags you plan to take when comparing airline ticket prices.

I'm not opposed to airlines raising their ticket prices if they are loosing money at the current price. But this is just a terrible idea. All it is going to do is cause more people to carry on their luggage, and this will ultimately lead to a slow-down in boarding airplanes. And those folks at the front of the plane who board last? They will need to gate-check their luggage, and then clog up the exit ramp waiting for their bags to appear after arrival. And that will slow down deplaning. Yes, an already unpleasant experience is about to get even worse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
The charging for drinks is just annoyingly stupid, because it makes both you and the attendants deal with cash on the plane.
This is more troubling. Everyone knows that keeping hydrated while flying is important. And now people will be less likely to do so.

Anyone else find it ironic that the "low-cost" carriers are the ones that now offer the superior service, for a lower price, and yet are the only ones that are profitable (or, if not, closer to being profitable)?
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
But about the charge for drinks and food business, that's got to be a zero-sum game! Instead of the pre-packaged food, now people buy them from vendors at airport or from home, with TONS of packaging, which turns into garbage they have to collect and dump.
One or two passes through the cabin on a 5 hour flight, final garbage collection shifted to ground crew as opposed to constant passes through the cabin.

I could invent a way to sell it to airlines, easy.
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
One or two passes through the cabin on a 5 hour flight, final garbage collection shifted to ground crew as opposed to constant passes through the cabin.
"Constant passes"? When was the last time you flew?

They don't come through the cabin any more after the first drink on shorter flights. And even on long flights, they only come once more right before landing. At most two passes for drinks.

But they do make an extra pass with the "duty free" (international flights).

Another thing that's going to hit the lowly (non-business class) business traveller is: where are you going to put your shaving kit since you can't carry it onboard with you? It'll cost you $30 a trip now! :
post #17 of 26

Very Poor

The part that really sucks is that you have no way to purchase the Bag fee's when you buy the ticket. For travelers like me who get reimbursed this means having to PAY AT THE COUNTER for every flight. and then keep and submit receipts.

Also someone pointed out that Curbside check in is not equipped to collect the baggage fee.. SO how the hell do they check your BAGS?? You go to the counter. The counter is not equipped to handle the extra volume.

Its messed up.

It really does not affect me too much cuz I'm Gold Medallion right now.

And I am working remote right now. (Not Traveling)

But DAM!

__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
Dear Mr. Michael T *************,

Before your next trip with us, we would like you to know about changes to our checked baggage policy and revised fees for excess, overweight, oversized baggage and special items, effective for travel on or after August 18, 2008.

If you purchase a United Economy® ticket on or after June 13, 2008 for travel on or after August 18, 2008, a $15 service fee will apply, each way, to check your first piece of baggage. This fee applies to travel within the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.

As previously announced, a $25 fee will apply to check a second bag when flying on a ticket purchased on or after February 4, 2008. Please refer to the chart below to see which checked baggage fees may apply to you.

Checked baggage fees summaryIf you purchased tickets...and are traveling...the following fees apply to check bags First bagSecond bagBefore February 4, 2008Anytime$0$0Between February 4, 2008 and June 12, 2008Anytime$0$25 On or after June 13, 2008Between June 13, 2008 and August 17, 2008$0$25 On or after June 13, 2008On or after August 18, 2008$15$25

We would like to remind you that additional baggage fees apply to check more than two bags, or if any bags are oversized, overweight and/or considered special items. These fees are also changing and the revised fees will apply to tickets purchased on or after June 13, 2008 for travel on or after August 18, 2008. Please visit the Oversized, overweight and excess baggage and Special items sections on united.com for details on these fees.

You will be exempt from the first and second checked bag service fees if you are:
  • traveling in United First® or United Business®
  • traveling on the same reservation as a Global ServicesSM, Mileage Plus® 1K®, Premier Executive®, Premier® or Premier Associate® member or Star Alliance® Gold or Silver member
  • military personnel traveling on orders
To help facilitate a speedy check-in for you, we are working on a convenient option of pre-paying for checked baggage fees when checking in online with bags, using EasyCheck-in OnlineSM. We will provide more information on the availability of this functionality later in the year.

For details on our baggage policies and frequently asked questions, we invite you to visit united.com/baggage.

We thank you for your business and look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
"Constant passes"? When was the last time you flew?

They don't come through the cabin any more after the first drink on shorter flights. And even on long flights, they only come once more right before landing. At most two passes for drinks.
'Constant' because on a long airplane the crew is making one pass after another. And you forget that a drink pass implies a collection pass, so this way they don't have to do that either. Ergo 5 passes down to two (one seatbelt, one garbage).

Quote:
Another thing that's going to hit the lowly (non-business class) business traveller is: where are you going to put your shaving kit since you can't carry it onboard with you? It'll cost you $30 a trip now! :
Schick 3 packs. Soap and brush are carryon.
post #19 of 26
My drive to fly used to be around 4-5 hours, any drive shorter I drove any longer I flew. With all of these new fees and inconveniences (I had to pay $6 per seat for our family of four each way just to choose which seats we wanted on Airtran) I think my cutoff is going to go up considerably. I'll buy a satellite radio for the car and just enjoy the drive.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by brabson View Post
Anyone else find it ironic that the "low-cost" carriers are the ones that now offer the superior service, for a lower price, and yet are the only ones that are profitable (or, if not, closer to being profitable)?
No.

Legacy airlines have more tenured and retired employees with pension programs, health benefits, and union contracts, etc. Legacy airlines are trying to compete with airlines that have gone through bankruptcy restructuring and thus dumped people out in the cold for healthcare and retirement. They no longer have those burdens, or they moved into the game later and don't compensate employees as well. If the legacies could dump commitment to prior workers they'd be in hugely better shape. Same with the auto industry.

Just wait ... if you work, it will soon come to your industry too. If your employer wants to compete in a cost conscious market, cost has to be taken out somewhere. Once all the "nickel and dime" stuff has been culled out, it’s employees next.

Get used to the trending model .. lowest cost rules. Given the economy, the pressure is on everywhere. More and more employers will dump benefits as part of compensation packages whenever possible and people will be responsible for managing/funding their own affairs - healthcare, retirement, childcare, etc.. Not necessarily good or bad, but for those who aren't prepared to adapt it will be a challenge.

People make flight decisions based on $15 difference in fares. Leaving bags and drinks in while other airlines take them out means the other airline gets the business - even if it's a hassle. People/business booking agencies will choose the cheapest flight. For airlines that lower the price but keep the "benefits", they'll just lose that much money per passenger. Cutting one peanut from the bag of peanuts saved one airline millions of dollars over the course of a year. Others followed. We're way beyond single peanuts now. Few people are begging for a pay cut, so it's the other stuff first.

The airlines recall being hundreds of millions of dollars in debt just a few years ago. They're trying not to repeat.
post #21 of 26
Good points here. If you can't pay the fee at the curb than this has really become the all-time cluster@#%EW. Also you know how long and slow the lines at the counters already are...imagine all the extra time the transactions will take as each person has to pay one by one for any bags that they plan to check. This is so poorly thought out.....
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm glad I'm done the bulk of my flying right before the new rules take effect. At least I'll get to see how these new rules pan out and instituted. Cost aside, it's the chaos at the security & gate that worry me more.

Speaking of airlines with retirees pension to fund. I somehow felt it's more of the old-style company structure that's the problem. Airlines used to be regulated. So they can afford these "luxury" benefits since they can charge whatever. The new entries into the industry, after deregulation, don't structure their worker compensation that way. So I think they may have less "baggage" to deal with even as their work force age.

When my Mom retired, she asked me if she should take a lump sum or just get annuity of her pension. I wasn't a economist but I could see the various company "re-structuring" their retirees out of their share of the payout so I adviced her to take the lump sum and find a friendly investment advisor. Just the fact she now doesn't have to constantly worry about her company's well being affecting her retirement income is worth it.

Companies being companies, their goal is to maximize profit and minimize cost. They've treated their employees like crap before uninization. That's why we unionized. But unions gone overboard with the false promise of "taking care of" their worker till they gone to their grave. So we're back to the reality of worker taking care of themselves by bargaining smartly, whether the "bargaining" is done collectively or individually, or a combination of both.

This is a bit off the topic. But legacy airlines had a lot more problem with their business pratice. Shafting customer AND employee are just their short-sighted "solution" of the moment. Customers, in turn, will respond by jamming their belongings to their carry-on or first bag to negate the effort by the airline. We'll see what other things the airline will try next. Round and round we go...
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
It's not the cost. It's the impression of being nickled and dimed.

Let's see what comes next, MacDonalds charging extra for their catch-up?
I think they do this in England, atleast the charged you for the individual ketchup packs....20 years ago.

other than a PR nightmare, i doubt it will make a big difference amongst skiers. once we've made our vacation plans, they got us over a barrel anyway. i mean they could have just hid the price in the cost of the ticket but then again, maybe ticket prices are going up anyway.....

at most, more people will try to cram more into 1 bag and bump into the weight limit per bag.
post #24 of 26
If I have to pay an extra money to bring luggage, each one is going to be 50lbs.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bklyn View Post
If I have to pay an extra money to bring luggage, each one is going to be 50lbs.
That's fine. Eventually the limit will drop to 25lbs/bag.

When you jump on a trampoline it reacts accordingly depending on whether it's going up or going down. The "market" reacts pretty much the same.

Wonder what will happen when checking long boards is $25 and SL's are $10??
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bklyn View Post
If I have to pay an extra money to bring luggage, each one is going to be 50lbs.
Mine always have been.
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