Continental Airlines recently announced it will join the other major US airlines by charging a fee for the first checked bag for passengers with economy airline tickets – usually these are the low price flights. As of October 7, 2008 if you’re traveling within the United States, to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands or Canada and have to check your luggage, be prepared to pay $15 for the first bag. Earlier this year, Continental began charging $25 for a second checked bag.
Anyone with international airfare to Tokyo, Brazil, Europe or the Middle East will be exempt from these fees – but if you’re going anywhere in Central or South America (other than Brazil) on low price flights be prepared to pay.
And if you have the misfortune, like me, to find low cost airfare on Continental across the country after an international flight that returns to Los Angeles, you will soon have to pay the fees to get your luggage – laden with gifts and souvenirs – home.
Make sure when you purchase your cheap international airfare on flights that originate from an east or west coast hub like JFK or LAX, that you consider all the costs. You probably will have to pay additional fees to get your luggage to your international flight.