Comments on: The negative bag-check fee A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: ejoiner Sat, 10 Apr 2010 06:58:44 +0000 What is ironic is that I have been yacking about the strategy of baggage handling since 2008. I wrote the article linked below which is really what I think about this subject. Its more valid today that it was then. -why-i-don.html

By: TinyTim1 Tue, 06 Apr 2010 17:08:27 +0000 Late to this but for what it is worth.
Any analysis of the checked bag vs. speed question should be directed to the true low cost flyers Ryanair, not LUV.

Ryanair charge for checked bags because they PAY BAGGAGE HANDLERS. Fewer bags = less expense. Also, you need check-in desks for checking bags. They cost money too.
Also, they already have the fastest possible turnaround hand-baggage or not because they don’t allocate seats.
This causes an absolute riot to get on the plane first.

Trust me, if it was more economical to pay people to check bags Ryanair would do it. It isn’t so they don’t.

By: TSTS Sat, 27 Mar 2010 18:31:34 +0000 Interesting article. But there seems to be a basic problem with the current setup. The airlines have two objectives here:

(1) minimize the amount of luggage that people bring, to save on fuel, and

(2) for the luggage that people do bring, make sure they check it, to avoid delays.

Charging for checked luggage helps with (1) but hurts them on (2), while not charging for checked luggage may help with (2) but hurts them on (1). To achieve both, you really need to start charging for the total weight of checked plus carry-on, to avoid arbitrage between checked and unchecked baggage. Not looking forward to this, but I could see this coming soon.

By: najdorf Sat, 27 Mar 2010 02:31:35 +0000 The insane aspect of the current policy is carry-on bag free, checked bag over-priced. From an efficiency standpoint it’s clearly preferable to have professionals examine bags at a truly secure location deep in the bowels of the airport and have passengers proceed quickly onto the plane carrying as little as possible. The weight is the same in either location, but in one its carried and stowed slowly and haphazardly in the cabing while in the other it’s safely below. But airlines encourage the homeless person approach to travel. Thus thousands of families wander through a security checkpoint with multiple oversized bags (since no one wants the hassle of trying to enforce limits on unreasonable people trying to save $25 and no one polices the “expert traveler” line – I think if you reach the front of it with no clue you should be sent back to the curb to start over). In the fog of trying to scan through 5000 over-stuffed bags that barely fit in the x-ray machine in order to distinguish cans of peanuts from explosives, I wouldn’t be surprised if screeners miss a fair number of actually dangerous items. I would vastly prefer a system where you step on a scale to get your boarding pass, pay by the pound, then put everything not needed in-flight under the plane. This would also help deal with the passenger size>seat size problem. Grande passengers could occupy two seats, since they paid extra.

By: bxg Sat, 27 Mar 2010 00:58:47 +0000 So, I usually travel light, but the airlines will pay me to bring some empty cardbox boxes to the check in?
At the other end, depending on how much time I have, I pick up those boxes from baggage claim and run up to the check-in counter to sell them to someone waiting in line who forget to bring their own empty boxes? Neat-o!

… “the economics of reducing the bag-check fee from $25 to $0 are essentially the same as the economics of reducing it from $0 to -$25″

I guess I learned different economics. Where I learned it, they kept blathering on about incentives and such.

By: MarkC123 Fri, 26 Mar 2010 22:22:11 +0000 It’ll never happen — paying people to check bags will incentivize passengers to bring more luggage, and the extra fuel cost of carrying more dead weight will more than offset any cost savings from more speedy seating.

The flip side of the same argument: I recall a rule of thumb that one extra OUNCE of weight a plane has to carry each year translates into one gallon of fuel consumed. Charging for bags reduces the stuff people bring on trips and saves fuel, probably enough to offset the inefficiency of the extra waiting required for everyone to stow their luggage in the overhead bins.