Another airline to start charging for carry-ons

In a move toward less customer service and more outright money grubbing, Allegiant Airline has started charging for carry-on bags. They saw how successful Spirit Air was, earning around $50 million from the fee in 2011, and thought, Hey! We should do that.

Granted, they are a small, super low cost carrier, and they say that larger airlines should not follow their lead. But doesn’t it make you wonder how far away Delta, or American, or United are from this same path? It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all shocked and horrified that smaller airlines started charging for checked bags, and couldn’t imagine the larger carriers doing that.

Comments for an article about this on MSNBC range from “how can the government let them do that?” to “let the free markets decide” to “it feels like they’re nickel and diming us!” Uh, yeah. That’s pretty much exactly what they’re doing.

All I know is if American starts charging for carry-on bags, I will never fly them again. And I bet I’m not the only one.  And I fear that it’s a very real possibility, as they try to emerge from bankruptcy.

Readers, what do you think? Would you fly an airline that charges for carry-ons? Do you think this is where the industry is headed?


  1. I am EP with American right now but if they start charging for Carry-on, regardless of what status you have with them, then I’ll definitely give my business to some other airline (United perhaps).

  2. All that matters to me is what is the cost of my getting from PtA to PtB. If Aligent’s tkt is say $100 and its $25 for carry-on so thats $150 RT. and say AA is $200 w/o charging me then I will see if that extra $50 is worth it for the EQMs and RDMs I’ll earn if not,Id gladly pay for my carry-on since in the end Im ahead $$ wise just not as much as I could have been

  3. I think what bothers me is that the fee for carry on appears to be the same as for checked bags. That doesn’t seem right. With checked bags there are costs of tracking the bag, loading and unloading it. With a carry on I’m doing all the work. Screening takes place for both checked and carry on so is the same cost.

    In a way I welcome a smaller checked bag fee. I see too many people trying to avoid baggage fees by trying to stuff the kitchen sink into a bulging over sized “carry on”. Maybe they will go back to checking bags and leave the overhead bins to those that really want to travel light.

  4. Not sure about Allegiant, but spirit has super low fares, they make their money on the add ones. Try getting $9 fares on AA, it won’t happen because they have more included in the fare. For some travelers this will be good, because they won’t need to carryon bags so they have a cheaper fare.
    I’m happy that airlines charge for checked bags, because that means lower base fares, and since I am an elite and get free checked bags (rarely use that perk anyway), it is cheaper than it used to be.

  5. Today they start charging extra for carry-on bags. When will they start charging extra when your body mass index (BMI) exceeds a certain value.

    I have a better idea. Carry-on bags that meet the size dimensions fly free. Carry-on bags that don’t fit in those little racks at the door of the jet-way get charged an “oversize fee”.

    I believe airlines are way too liberal in letting some people on-board with the size of carry-ons they have.

  6. Appears to me none of the airlines notice the Southwest business model. They let you check 2 for free and don’t charge for carry-ons…and they are the most successful airline going today.

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