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Southwest: No Extra Fees for Skis

Southwest: No Extra Fees for Skis

[ Mon, 2009-12-14 13:57 ]
Southwest airlines
Southwest Airlines' no-fee baggage policy is popular with travelers -- and since it applies to ski bags and boots bags, we like it, too.

Like a lot of folks, you might be planning your spring break ski getaway. And like a lot of folks, you may be getting slightly irked at the baggage fees most airlines are now charging -- and at how those fees are constantly changing. For ski vacations especially, those fees can add up, with up to $25 for a bag full of ski clothes, then another $35 for a ski bag -- provided your airline doesn't charge an extra fee for oversized ski equipment, or charge extra for a boot bag. Southwest Airlines, which sends an awful lot of planes to ski-friendly destinations like Denver, Reno-Tahoe and Salt Lake City, doesn't charge for checked bags: up to two sub-50 pound bags can be checked for free. Even better news: A ski bag and a boot bag count as one (free) checked bag. And that strategy appears to be working quite well for them. According to USA Today, the airline's no-fee baggage policy has helped increase Southwest's market share by $800 million, driving traffic growth "in a time when we are actually reducing our capacity and the domestic market is actually shrinking," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told an industry conference recently. Bigger market share means bigger profits -- and that, we hope, means the free-bag policy sticks around for a while. At least until the end of ski season.

Photo by: materdei on Flickr