Airlines launch carry on crackdown

June 30, 2008 4:25:58 PM PDT
Some airlines have already started charging for your first checked bag, and now, they're starting to crack down on the size of your carry-ons. We met a traveler named Marilyn, who's old lucky carry-on must measure 51 inches or smaller if she intends to bring it on board a US Airways flight. Any bigger and she must check it. US Airways will have extra personnel enforcing that rule. If Marilyn gets all the way to security with a too-large bag, security can send her all the way back to check in.

Checking bags on many carriers come with new fees. US Airways and United Airlines are following the lead of American Airlines, which makes customers pay $15 for the first checked bag.

United's new fee begins tomorrow for customers buying domestic tickets for August 18th or later. It does not apply to first or business class, or those with premiere status.

US Airways' new baggage fee kicks in for tickets booked on or after July 9th. Most airlines are already charging $25 for a second checked bag.

The surcharges are designed to offset increasing fuel prices.

"Which is why we're seeing fees for baggage, fees for choosing your own seat, fees for buying soda. This is how it's going to be going forward," said travel expert Jared Blank.

The next extra fee for passengers could be seat reservations Spirit Airlines is already charging $5 for middle seats, $10 for window and aisle seats, and $15 for exit-row seats.

US Airways will alsoo soon add a fee for non-alcoholic drinks.

But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. First, here's how to deal with the new carry on rule.

Starting next week, it's got to be 51 inches all the way around or less if you want to carry it on a US Airways flight.

To take out the guess work, the airline is setting up a baggage box. Put your bag inside to see if it's small enough to carry on.

It's also important to remember that different airlines have different rules and fees so check your carrier's website to find out about key changes and surcharges before you head to the airport.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Jamie Roth