Delta Retreats, Partially, On New Bag Fee

Andrew Compart andrew_compart@aviationweek.com

Delta has backtracked on part of its new $50 fee for a second checked bag on international flights, narrowing its application to U.S.-Europe flights only.

Delta "announced" the change May 27 by altering the written policy listed on its Web site. The new fee, as before, is effective for flights as of July 1, for economy class only, for flights booked on or after May 23. Active-duty military traveling on orders, passengers flying on a full-fare tickets and frequent flyer program elite-level members are still exempted from the fee.

A Delta spokesman said today that Delta changed the scope of the fee because "we constantly monitor the industry landscape to ensure our fares and fees are competitive." One could take that to mean no other carriers have matched the fee since Delta announced it in April, but none of them have matched the fee for U.S.-Europe flights either.

Delta has said the fee will apply to any Delta booking, even for a Delta code-share seat on a partner airline, such as a flight operated by Air France.

It would not apply, however, to a booking on a Delta flight with an Air France code. Delta has been talking to its alliance partners about how to implement, collect and distribute the fee under those scenarios.

The change in the application fee will lower the amount of additional revenue the airline will collect, but Delta has not said by how much. When it originally announced the fee to apply to all international flights, Delta said it expected the fee to raise more than $100 million per year.

Photo credit: Delta Air Lines

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