US Airways says “Uncle” on soft drink charges

Starting on March 1, 2008 , passengers on US Airways will once again be able to get soft drinks, juice, coffee, and water for free.


US Airways has been charging $2 (in most cases) for these items since August 1, 2008. (First-class passengers and folks traveling on trans-Atlantic flights still received free drinks.)  And while lots of airlines are unbundling  fees, US Airways was the only airline charging passengers for non-alcoholic drinks.

Here’s a link to the Associated Press article with more details about US Airways’ decision to once again offer complimentary soft drinks, water and coffee.

Airfares by weight? One company predicts it will happen.


The folks at Luggage Forward, one of the companies that provides doorstep to destination luggage delivery, is putting out their annual industry report today and, no surprise, they predict that in 2009 travelers will:

  • Be paying increasing baggage fees:

“Despite falling fuel prices airlines have determined that baggage fees do not deter people from flying …”

  • Experience a crackdown carry-ons:

“Airlines must solve the newly developed problem of passengers carrying on too much which is causing delayed departures.”


  • Perhaps start paying airfares that take into account their weight plus the weight of their bags; checked and carry-on:

“Though this model seems somewhat farfetched, it is the model used by virtually every company who profitably uses airplanes to transport cargo – except airlines.”

Points 1 and 2 are a given. But charging passengers by weight? That’s still a very touchy subject.   Plus… what if you gain – or lose – weight after you buy your ticket?

(Image above: Norman Andersen’s Rainmakars Baggage mixed-media installation in the baggage claim at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.)

Airport baggage scales: are they balanced?

It’s natural to wonder (or hope) that the bathroom scale is wrong when you weigh in each morning.

At the airport, it’s a different story entirely. Airlines have been getting strict about charging passengers for overweight bags to the tune of millions of dollars each year.

But last week, the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures did a surprise inspection of the scales used by Southwest Airlines and US Airways at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

According to this article in the Arizona Republic, both airlines got dinged. Southwest “had to shut down three of its 26 scales because they received red tags, the most serious violation, from the inspectors. The problem: The scales did not start at zero.”

Another reason to try to fit everything you need into a carry-on bag…..

Get out your tape measure

Well, this is kind of a sneaky way for airlines to make air travelers check their bags – and a sneaky way for at least one airline to squeeze more bucks out of bag check fees.

Earlier this month Continental Airlines announced that it would not only charge coach travelers $25 to check a second piece of luggage, it would also begin charging $15 for the first checked bag.

Continental isn’t the first airline to do this – American, United, Delta, and Northwest Airlines are among the other airlines that have also cut the size of acceptable carry-ons in the past few months.

A few linear inches may not seem like a big deal when it comes to luggage. But if push comes to shove – and it often does these days with passengers jostling for overhead space on planes – it can make the difference between snagging that bin and getting your bag gate-checked – for a fee.

So get out your tape measure and make sure your carry-on fits the new – smaller – guidelines.

Bag the bag fee… new trend?

According to this note by Terry Maxon in the Airline Biz blog, in response to price dips in the cost of fuel, Air Canada is dropping the fees for checking a second bag beginning next Tuesday.

That’s good news and, hopefully, the beginning of a trend.

And those fuel surcharges? Well, you won’t see those anymore. But you will pay them: the airline is folding those fees into the airfares instead of showing them to you as an extra fee.