Northwest Adds Bag/Ticket Fees, Cuts 2,500 Jobs

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has advised members that Northwest Airlines will charge for the first checked bag. The move is effective for domestic tickets booked on or after July 10 for travel on or after August 28. Northwest will charge $15 each way ($30 roundtrip) for the first checked bag. The second bag fee is $25 each way. The fee for three or more bags is $100 per bag each way.

Northwest's new fee applies to customers traveling within the U.S and to/from Canada. Full-fare coach passengers and frequent flier elites are exempt from the policy. Northwest's first bag fee matches the fees charged by American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways, ASTA noted.

Northwest also upped charges for nonrefundable ticket changes. Effective July 9, the fee for domestic non-refundable ticket changes will increase from $100 to $150. International ticket change fees will increase by an additional $50 to $150 per ticket, depending on class of service and other restrictions.

Effective for tickets issued on or after September 15, Northwest will charge $25 for domestic, $50 for transatlantic and $100 for transpacific WorldPerks Award tickets issued in North America.

ASTA advised agents to disclose to customers at the time of booking that fees may apply when checking bags. In addition, agents should include a disclosure notice on customer itineraries and invoices. To see a summary of airline checked bag fees, as well as a sample disclosure notice, read ASTA's Airline Checked Baggage Policy Chart.

In other NWA news, the airline announced that it will cut 2,500 jobs from its workforces, a decrease of about 8.3 percent. The cuts, according to airline spokesmen, are in response to soaring oil costs and will include front-line and management workers.

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