It took some time, but Continental Airlines is now caught up with its competitors in the practice of charging a checked bag fee. The airline announced Friday that it would charge coach passengers $15 for a first checked bag in an attempt to offset escalating fuel costs that have continued to hinder the airline industry throughout the year. The fee is immediately in effect for tickets for travel in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada for travel beginning October 7 and beyond.
The fee does not apply to Continental's frequent-flier members, first- or business-class passengers, full-fare economy tickets, or military personnel and their families traveling on official orders. Additional feels may be charged for luggage that exceeds weight and size restrictions.
United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways, and American Airlines instituted first bag fees earlier in the year. Delta Air Lines does not charge for the first checked bag but raised fees for checking a second or third bag.