Airline fees, as you may have heard, are out of control. Having already jacked up their checked baggage fees to the limits of reason, the major airlines have begun rooting around for ways to charge passengers. Carry-on baggage, front-row coach seats and priority boarding are all among the “perks” that will now cost you extra on some airlines.
But surely there are airlines out there that won’t kill you with fees, right?
Well, yes. There’s Southwest Airlines, which doesn’t charge for the first two checked bags, and Air Canada and JetBlue, which allow you to check your first bag for free (but will each charge you $30 for a second checked bag).
Unfortunately, the list of domestic airlines offering free checked baggage begins and ends there. Every other domestic carrier will charge upwards of $15 for the first checked bag, and the fees only go up if you dare to bring a second. You can fly the friendly skies, but don’t pack a suitcase – and don’t expect things to change anytime soon.
“The no-bag-fee campaign has been successful for [Southwest], but I don’t expect the other carriers to follow suit,” says Bill Miller, senior vice president of strategic partnerships for CheapOair. “And as the government begins to step in and make some noise about transparent pricing, I expect there to be a race to pile on more fees.”
That being said, here are some airlines that are still giving away the perks you love for free. They’re few and far between, but take what you can get while you still can.