Just Because You Pay, Doesn’t Mean It Won’t Get Lost

You might have heard about the new trend, airlines now charging passengers for many things and upping fees for others. Delta, for example, has announced a $25 fee for passengers who want to check a second bag, and US Airways and United do the same. One tiny ray of light is that this fee doesn’t apply to first or business class passengers or elite frequent-flier members.

But a newspaper story in the South Florida Sun Sentinel raises an interesting question–does paying to ship the bag guarantee it will arrive on time and in the right airport?

The paper looked at Spirit Airlines, an upstart carrier that has made great inroads in routes to Latin America from its South Florida hub. One woman lost her bag despite paying the fee, and the sad part was that the luggage contained several expensive wigs she needs as a result of cancer treatments. The limit to the airline’s liabilty is $3000 per bag on domestic flights and $1500 on international ones.

The airlines say it’s just a result of high fuel costs, and reason that they have to make the difference up somewhere. They say that since the other carriers are doing it, now it has become ‘general industry practice.’

So the answer is, you might even lose your bag after you pay to have it put into the cargo hold.