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American Airlines Joins Rivals In Raising Baggage Fees


American Airlines Inc. (AAL) has joined its major rivals in raising baggage fees as the airline industry grapples with higher fuel costs and rising operating expenses.

The largest U.S. airline said Thursday it is raising the price of a first and second checked bag by $5 each. The price of a first checked bag is now $30, while it is $40 for a second checked bag.

The change in baggage price is being implemented for tickets purchased beginning Friday, September 21, for travel in the U.S. and other North America and Caribbean destinations. The price hike is applicable for travel in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

However, the previous bag fees will apply for tickets purchased prior to this change, the airline noted. Certain American Airlines' customers will continue to be eligible for free checked bags, including the elite status AAdvantage members.

This is the first time American Airlines has raised its domestic checked bag fees since 2010.

Other U.S. airlines like Delta Air Lines, United Continental Holdings and JetBlue Airways have also raised their baggage fees recently.

United announced new prices for its checked bag fees on August 31, while Delta followed suit a few weeks later. In addition, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have increased their date-change fees.

The price increases by the airlines come as lawmakers consider asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to assess whether airline baggage and ticket change fees are reasonable.

According to data provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, major U.S. airlines have collected $2.36 billion in baggage fee revenue during the first half of 2018.

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