Eileen Ogintz Checks Bag Check Fees

On Sunday, travel writer Eileen Ogintz made “06880” for shepherding 7 ABC House boys on a weekend trip to the Hilton New York Penthouse.

This morning it’s for her crusading work against airline baggage fees.

Today’s New York Times Business section “Itineraries” column highlights the Westporter’s experience with one of air travel’s most nagging issues:

Eileen Ogintz

Mrs. Ogintz was helping her daughter, Melanie, move to Colorado for college in the fall of 2009 and quickly discovered that the price of hauling the baggage across the country was almost as much as buying another ticket. “I would have easily spent hundreds of dollars” getting six bags from Westport, Conn., to Denver, Mrs. Ogintz said. That was when she discovered that Southwest Airlines did not charge for the first two bags.

So rather than fly out of La Guardia Airport in New York, as she originally planned, Mrs. Ogintz, her husband and daughter drove an extra 25 miles to fly out of Hartford. “We were able to check all six bags for free between the three of us,” she said.

Mrs. Ogintz, a blogger who specializes in travel, has been writing and campaigning against the fees ever since.

After describing other creative ways to surmount baggage fees — and congressional proposals to alter them — the Times story concludes:

Mrs. Ogintz said many passengers had become so frustrated that they would be willing to pay a higher fare to avoid the fees.

“It’s not a question of money,” she said. “People are just fed up with being nickeled and dimed.”

2 responses to “Eileen Ogintz Checks Bag Check Fees

  1. This is one of the few instances these days where caveat emptor has a happy ending.

  2. I recently flew thru Dallas/Forth Worth. American charges (I believe) $35/bag to be checked, which we all know they are making A LOT of money on. However, American has now posted signs on the gangway and at baggage claim “warning” people that it till take an *average* of 17-24 minutes to receive their luggage. Instead of investing in the problem, they post signs to lower expectations. No wonder they are bankrupt (and not just financially!)