U.S. airlines only made 4.6 Billion (with a B) last year in baggage fees…

When the going gets good, squeeze em’ for all they got. That seems to be the message behind the latest slew of airline moves this week. Within days of each other, four airlines around the world raised checked baggage fees or limited carry on allowances, making it harder for more passengers to get what they need, without paying extra. Here’s the story on the collective sigh across the airline world this week…

JetBlue Launches $30 Bags

In fairness to JetBlue, they’re one of the two great hopes in the United States for airlines taking a different and more customer friendly approach. The airline however became the first in the U.S. to raise checked baggage prices from the $25 charged across the board by all U.S. carriers, except Southwest (where bags remain free), raising the price to $30 per bag, each way. Will the other “big” U.S. airlines such as Delta, United and American follow? You could almost bet your life on it…

Ryanair Cuts Full Sized Carry On

In an undeniable price grab, Ryanair will now essentially force every customer to pay an additional £6 for priority boarding, which entitles them to bring a second full sized carry on. If you don’t pay up, you’ll be limited to a single item which fits under the seat in front of you, and you’ll have to pay £10 to check your carry on into the hold. Even worse, you’ll need to stop by bag drop, wait in line and deal with all that to do so. Basically – pay the £6 and give into the gouge. To be honest, the best deal has always been to buy a £5 fare and buy priority boarding anyway, so it’s not the end of the world – just cheeky.

Air Canada & WestJet Launch $30 Bags

Air Canada and WestJet matched each other in announcing plans to raise checked bag fees to roughly $30 CAD each way for flights between the U.S. and Canada. Air Canada’s changes take effect October 5th, for any reservations booked after August 21st. If you have a reservation made before August 21st, you’ll still pay the old prices, even after October 5th. The WestJet changes kick in October 1st, but if you booked before August 24th, you can get the previous price by requesting it.

What do you think of these checked bag price raises?