Packing light pays.
American Airlines has joined other major U.S. carriers in charging a fee for checking a second bag on domestic flights — something that used to be free. Charges range from $25-$50 for the second bag, depending on the airline. Some lowcost carriers, such as Spirit and Europe’s easyJet, already charge for checking even the first bag (at Spirit, $10). And expect to pay more for oversized bags – such as surf boards and golf clubs — as well as any bag weighing over 50 pounds.
It’s worth noting that some fees are waived for premium fliers. For instance, American still lets its gold and platinum-level frequent fliers bring a second bag for free.
More costly news: Most airlines have also upped the cost of changing a ticket and reintroduced the dreaded Saturday-night stay requirement for the lowest fares. Airlines are also charging hefty fuel surcharges, and American is charging $20 to book a flight in person at the airport.
To get the full cost of your air ticket, you’ll need to go all the way through the online booking process. Like taxes, most surcharges aren’t disclosed up front with the fare, and when they are, the print is miniscule.