Wednesday Mar. 05, 2014 @ 9:24 am By
United Airlines Carry on Bags

According to a story on, United Airlines is getting tough on passengers with oversized carry-on bags (bigger than 9x14x22 inches), even sending some of them back to the ticket counter to check their luggage for a $25 fee. But it claims this is not a revenue driven decision (roll eyes here). Oh please, to try to wrap it in anything other than a revenue based decision is an utter lie.

They even rolled out new bag-sizing boxes at most airports and sent an email to frequent fliers, reminding them of the rules and sent an internal employee newsletter about their “renewed focus on carry-on compliance.” They claim it’s simply ensuring that compliant passengers have space left for them in the overhead bins, but you have to be living with your head in the sand to see that claim as anything other than a lame attempt to veil the truth in a way so as to bamboozle flyers into believing they are doing something to help them (i.e., make more space for everyone). When has an airline really had the best interests of a flyer in mind, just look at all of the tick tack fees and ticket price gouging and awards plan shenanigans. Given how greedy airlines have become with the revenue generated from fees, fees that have helped them return to profitability mind you and revenue that has steadily risen yearly, it is laughable they would even try to pass it off as anything other than a means to generate more revenue.

There are even concerns that it will in fact delay the boarding process even more as flyers will now be turned back in droves at the security checkpoint to check their bags that previously were fine in size. But suddenly, loading and boarding times and speed and ease don’t get mentioned as a concern. They only play that card when they can use it to justify another fee, but brush it under the rug in this case.

And for the record, United collects $638 million in checked-bag fees a year but wants to increase that figure. In a January earnings call, the airline’s chief revenue officer, Jim Compton, said United hopes to collect an extra $700 million over the next four years from extras such as baggage fees and the sale of extra legroom. So yeah, sure, this move is not about revenue.

Photo credit: (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) (AP2013)

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