On May 21, 2008, American Airlines announced its plan to follow the lead of European airlines and charge customers a fee for each checked bag. This is not a particularly good solution to increased fuel costs. It penalizes those of us who check a bag instead of dragging our luggage into the cabin and stuffing it into an overhead bin, a practice which, I might add, wastes everyone’s time by slowing boarding both on and off the plane. A much better solution would be paying for the total weight you want the airline to transport. That includes you, your luggage, and your carry-on. Discriminating against heavier people? Yes, and against people carrying lots of heavy stuff. But it’s fair. Fuel costs are directly related to how much weight the plane is carrying. More weight = higher cost. When you take a package to the post office they don’t charge you a flat rate, do they? No, they weigh the package you want them to transport. It just makes sense.
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