You Weigh? You Pay!

American Airlines has announced a new $15 fee when passengers check a bag. And, although I must have missed it, some months back they apparently announced a $25 charge for the second checked bag.

Clearly, the airlines are looking for ways to offset the skyrocketing cost of jet fuel. The rationale here, of course, is that the more the plane weighs, the more fuel it takes to push it through the air.

According to one news story I saw the other day, the cost of jet fuel for American Airlines has increased by three billion dollars a year. That is a helluva lot of money and, one way or another, it will have to come from the traveling public.

I have no problem with that. In fact, maybe these new fees will cause people to start getting smart about the way they pack for travel. The day I got back from my recent trip to the mainland, I noticed a couple in their late 20s at the Maui airport claiming their bags at the carousel. These two people were traveling with six large bags that must have weighed a total of at least 250 pounds. And they were only going to be here for a week.

That’s ridiculous! They couldn’t possibly use all that stuff if they changed clothes every three hours. But with the new fees, they would have been whacked an extra $130. And I say good! Why should my air fare be increased to cover the cost of flying their excess baggage? I travel with one carry-on bag and can be gone for three to four weeks with no problem.

Oh, yes …one more thing: What about the 300-pounders who wedge themselves into the seat next to you? I vote we make them buy two seats!