Savvy travelers have no doubt discovered that one easy way around paying the fees for a checked bag on just about every airline is to pack a carry-on bag. But a report from the Associated Press indicates airlines have begun paying closer attention to the size and weight of carry-on luggage, and if the bag is found to be overweight passengers are being charged fees for checking the luggage. A report from USA Today mentions some airlines are putting weight limits on carry-ons and some are enforcing rules that have just been overlooked in the past.
Why enforce carry-on bag restrictions?
The report from the Associated Press focuses on the practical restrictions for carry-ons, notably the ability of the bag to fit in the overhead compartment and the liability should the bag become dislodged and fall on a passenger. Of course, the article also mentions the potential for additional revenue for the airlines in charging passengers for checking heavy or large carry-on bags.
How will airlines monitor carry-on restrictions?
According to Farecompare.com, at least one airport, Pittsburgh International, has an express lane for passengers with just one carry-on to expedite the screening processes. While that line would be ideal for checking weight and size requirements, a simple scale at the counter would solve any potential bottle necks at the security line, as the USA Today article points out.
Can you be charged for carry-on bags?
So far airlines have decided against charging for carry-on bags; however, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the additional volume of bags being screened at airport security has dramatically increased and costs an estimated $260 million in time and manpower. Therefore, many passengers are already paying for checked bags in one sense.
What are the carry-on restrictions for certain airlines?
According to the AP report, the majority of airlines are enforcing the weight restriction on International flights. However, LuggageOnline.com has a complete listing of the various size and weight restrictions each popular airline has for carry-on bags.
Will baggage fees ever vanish?
As Fox News reports, allowing passengers to check one bag for free could ease up on the amount of luggage being brought into the cabin and save taxpayer money on the screening process. The article also mentions that some members of Congress are trying to push legislation that would prevent airlines from charging for the first checked bag, but the airlines have countered by indicating any free services would likely result in a hike in ticket prices.
Jason Gallagher is a former travel professional with a decade of experience in the industry. He remains an avid traveler and hotel fan with exposure to technology and trends in properties across the United States.