checked baggage

US Airways and Delta Air Lines are moving to eliminate transferring baggage from their flights to connection flights of other airlines. This will present consumers with a major hassle, especially for international flights.

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Over the past three years, passenger protections have slowly but surely made their way through the rulemaking process in Washington, DC. New tarmac-delay rules have been instituted and have eliminated much of the tarmac-delay issues. But, the Department of Transportation (DOT) didn’t stop there. The last of the most recent rules are coming into effect. These new rules, six of which are listed below, have changed the landscape of passenger protections.

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This weekend we take a look at capsule seating for business class and probably first class in the future. Airlines struggle with oversized carry-on baggage and whether to charge extra for such luggage. And, Qantas introduces its new uniforms and provides a slideshow of uniforms past.

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In the case of a code-share operation with a foreign carrier or that of an airline alliance with antitrust immunity, the ability to merge operations and make them seamless for travelers borders on the impossible. Consumers end up faced with alliances and codeshares of a Frankenstein nature.

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The latest luggage fee numbers, as reported by the federal government, show that the major airlines are collecting less for our checked suitcases.

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Most frequent and even semi-regular travelers know the basic drill — don’t put anything really important in your checked baggage. Most columns and posts are jewelry, keys, prescription medicines, computers and anything exceptionally valuable. But there other important items that we can’t live without.

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Baggage fees are a pain in the neck, but at least the pain is defined. Baggage roulette waiting for luggage delivery after arrival is much more painful.

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U.S. airlines, except Southwest, already charge for checked baggage, so the natural progression is just to increase those fees. But it looks like they have another idea in mind — do-it-yourself baggage tags.

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I normally try to talk clients out of mixing airlines. The potential problems usually far out-weigh most perceived time and/or money savings.

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The airlines and TSA are fighting an ongoing battle against theft from checked luggage. The installation of more and more automated baggage handling systems has reduced theft. However, until human contact is eliminated, the problem probably won’t be exorcised.

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