Travelers flying American Airlines at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport will soon find that the convenience of curbside check-in comes with a price.
American plans to add D/FW to its growing list of airports with a $2 fee per bag for checking luggage outside the terminal buildings, which has been free. It's the latest in a host of fees that airlines have begun charging travelers on items such as extra baggage, in-flight food and entertainment. American had previously implemented the fee in cities such as Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Anchorage, Alaska.
At D/FW, the fee will be rolled out in mid-December. By the end of the year, American will be charging for curbside check-in at airports in 23 or 24 cities, spokesman Tim Smith said.
The fee will be collected by Prospect Airport Services, a contractor that provides the service for American. The airline, in turn, will stop paying Prospect for the service.
"This is a cost savings for us, not a revenue gain," Smith said. Charging customers for the service should save American tens of millions of dollars annually, he said.
The fee could cut into tips for skycaps. But Smith said that in other cities, contractors have raised the salaries of baggage checkers to compensate.
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By mid-March the airline will start charging $2 per bag to check travelers outside the terminal.
After three decades of shunning Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Southwest Airlines plans to begin serving the airport starting next month.
About 15 percent of Northwest passengers use the skycap baggage-check service where it is available; it handles some 4 million bags a year. That service may soon cost $2 a bag.
Travels will be eligible to earn frequent flyer miles or points for every qualifying purchase made at DFW Airport such as parking, retail and concessions.