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Continental and Delta Lead Baggage Fees, Southwest Stands Alone

Continental and Delta raised their checked bag fees to $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second this week and most analysts expect other airlines to follow suit. So far this morning, United Airlines has also jumped aboard with $25 for the first checked bag fee. The three airlines have also imposed a $20 surcharge for trips to Europe.

Most notably, domestic carrier Southwest Airlines still has not used fees for checked baggage. The most interesting part of the report is from Basili Alukos from Morningstar.

"I believe the airlines will match, but because Southwest has yet to implement one, checked baggage fees will have a lower cap than they would otherwise have," he told Reuters.

I know that Southwest is basing its decisions on its own business model, but who knew that an airline with an eye and an ear for customer service could be keeping anything resembling a lid on other airlines' crazy fee-making activities. I'm a little frightened to see what the market would be like without a Southwest. Executives have said they do not rule out a baggage fee in the future, so maybe soon we will all see how much the market can bear.

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