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BA Imposes Bag-Check Fee

February 8, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

British Airways will soon join U.S. carrier Spirit Airlines in charging passengers a fee for checking a second bag. Beginning Tuesday, BA will charge 120 British pounds per extra bag on long-haul flights. By September, the carrier will also impose fees of 30 pounds sterling per extra bag on domestic flights and 60 pounds sterling per extra bag on European flights. Until then, passengers are allowed to check more than one bag free of charge, as long as it did not exceed weight restrictions of 23 kg. BA says only about 2 percent of its customers will be affected by these changes and that a 30 percent discount will be applied to these rates if passengers pre-pay the fees online. BA was sure to note, however, that it has "no intention" of discriminating against passengers who cannot comfortably carry a 23 kg bag. "Where it is clear that a passenger cannot manage one bag, we will let them check in an additional bag (or more) provided the total weight is within the 23 kg limit," the airline said on its web site. Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines on Saturday will be the first U.S. carrier to charge $10 to customers checking more than one bag, regardless of weight. Irish low cost carrier Ryanair charges passengers for checking any bag.

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