Delta to raise fee on 2nd checked bag

| April 22, 2009

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my disdain for Delta in the past.  In my opinion they are among the worst airlines for customer service, and a quick Google search on “delta customer complaints” will show I’m not alone.

So, I shook my head in amazement at the announcement yesterday that Delta plans to raise the fee for a 2nd checked bag on domestic flights to $50.  Why?  Not because of fuel prices, but because they need to add $100M to their bottom line this year.  They just posted a loss of nearly $800M last quarter and this is the stroke of brilliance that’s supposed to help them.  God forbid they do something like, I don’t know, TREAT THEIR CUSTOMERS WITH RESPECT, thereby making them WANT to fly the airline again.  No – Delta has a long and storied history of some of the worst customer service in the airline industry and this, my friends, is their long overdue chickens coming home to roost.  You can almost smell the desperation.

Delta is justifying the cost increase by saying it’s still a deal over shipping your luggage directly, which is like saying it’s cheaper to charter a Lear jet to take you on vacation than it is to buy one outright – it’s not a savings if it’s not something you would do anyway.  When was the last time you FedEx’d your luggage ahead to your destination?  Yes, some people do that – but the vast majority do not. Just another example of a crappy company trying to justify the unjustifiable.

As I’ve mentioned on the show several times the airlines have been looking to charge baggage fees for years, and last years spike in oil prices provided them the perfect excuse.  Of course, when the price of oil dropped, the fees remained in place and now Delta is looking to use this ‘model’ as a means to increase its profitability.  I can only hope this backfires on them and the rest of the airlines don’t follow suit.

It means little to me as I won’t fly Delta anyway after numerous customer service failures with their airline over the years.  More and more its Southwest that’s becoming my airline of choice mainly because their fees are reasonable and their customer service is phenomonal.  Too bad Delta didn’t learn about those concepts a few years ago -then perhaps customer loyalty would be keeping them afloat.  Lesson to the wise;  take care of your customers and they’ll take care of you.

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  • tickledtink33

    I also read this article and just checked Delta’s website to confirm that this new $50 2nd checked bag fee applies to International flights ONLY. This is from Delta’s website.

    Checked Baggage—within the United States
    When traveling within the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico, customers who purchased a ticket on or after November 6, 2008, will be charged $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second checked bag (each way, for round trip).

    Checked Baggage—International
    Currently when traveling to or from cities outside the United States you can check two bags, per passenger at no extra charge. For tickets purchased on or after April 21, 2009 for travel beginning July 1, 2009, customers in economy class will be charged $50 US (or the local equivalent currency) for the second checked bag.

    I do agree Pete that these checked bag fees are ridiculous. I’m sick of being nickled and dimed. I’d rather just pay one price and be done with it.

  • Dave Parfitt

    You go Pete!

  • disneybridein2k3

    Yet another reason to fly Southwest – great customer service and no hidden fees :)

  • shmedly123

    I booked an 11:58am flight on Delta back in Feb07 for Sep07 and since this was our first flight with my (at the time) 13mo daughter I wanted to make sure everything was all set. I called them in June because I happened by chance to check my seats online and noticed that my flight had been changed to 7:30 am…meaning I would have had to leave my house by 5:00am with a 13mo.

    They told me that they would have notified me in August about 3 weeks before the flight (also just enough time that I would have gotten killed with higher fares if I tried to book with another carrier) and I could have canceled if I didn’t like the new time. I explained how I couldn’t get my daughter up at 4:30 in the morning for a flight and they were able to ‘find’ me another flight at 12:01 pm.

    That’s right 3 minutes after the original flight. They said it didn’t default to the 12:01 flight b/c that flight took place in the pm and my original was in the am. What a crock. Had I not looked online and waited for them the 12:01 flight would have already been full.

    I’ve been back to FLA 3 times since and used Southwest everytime.

  • disneyholic family

    i don’t care if it’s for international or domestic, that’s obscene…

    we’ve often had to fly delta down from JFK (when we enter the USA via JFK)….the ground ‘service’ has always been THE worst….