US Airways Adds Checked-Bag and Beverage Fees

US Airways has joined the ranks of air carriers charging for checked bags. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has advised members of the carrier's new policy impacting customers who book economy class tickets for travel on or after July 9. They will be charged $15 each way ($30 roundtrip) for the first checked bag.

ASTA said the new fee applies to customers traveling within the United States, and to/from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. US Airways' first bag fee is in addition to its previously announced $25 second bag fee ($50 roundtrip), which went into effect May 5. American Airlines and United Airlines also recently announced that they would begin charging customers $15 for a first checked bag.

Exceptions to the new baggage fee include: all Dividend Miles Preferred Members (Silver, Gold, Platinum and Chairman's Preferred), confirmed First Class and Envoy Class passengers at the time of check-in, and Star Alliance Silver and Gold Status members. The following customers will also be exempt from paying the fee: military personnel on active duty, unaccompanied minors and passengers checking assistive devices.

Agents are advised 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.

ASTA also said US Airways will implement a $2 fee for all non-alcoholic beverages (including sodas, juices, bottled water and coffee) in its domestic coach cabins effective Aug. 1. Alcoholic beverages will also increase to $7 (currently $5). Complimentary beverages will continue to be served in domestic First Class, US Airways Shuttle flights, trans-Atlantic Envoy and trans-Atlantic economy class. Visit www.asta.org or www.usairways.com.

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