June 23, 2007

Say bye to free curbside check-in

The convenience of curbside check-in at Charlotte's airport soon will come at a cost.

Right now, only American Airlines charges people for checking luggage outside the terminal, levying a $2-per-bag fee, said Haley Gentry, a spokeswoman for Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

But other airlines are considering fees, Gentry said, and a spokeswoman for US Airways -- the airport's dominant carrier -- confirmed that the airline will start charging $2 per bag July 9.

That fee already is in place at other airports, U.S. Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr said, and few passengers have complained.

The airline first charged the fee in April at three Florida airports and in Las Vegas, Mohr said. Nine more airports got it this month, she said, including Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Mohr declined to say how much money the new fee will generate. About one out of every 10 passengers uses curbside check-in, she said.

Perhaps the most pressing question: Since airlines are charging a fee, do you still need to give the guy on the sidewalk a little something?

"Yeah," Mohr said, "you still tip."

By JEFFERSON GEORGE. Contact: jgeorge@charlotteobserver.com
Source: The Charlotte Observer

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