Curbside check-in: confusing and costly

If you like to check your bags curbside at the airport, be sure to pack some extra cash.

One by one, airlines are adding fees for this once-complimentary service.

United Airlines, American Airlines and US Airways, for example, currently charge $2 for each bag dropped off at the curb. On April 15th, Delta Airlines began charging $3 per bag. And that doesn’t include the (expected) tip for the skycaps.

Come May 5th, when many airlines begin charging an extra $25 fee for checking a second bag, things will get more costly and confusing out at the curb.

In my Well-Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com this week, I write about a frustrating experience trying to pin down airline reservation agents on payment options out at the curb. Should I bring cash, credit cards or a personal check? No one seems to know.

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