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Delta, US Airways plan to add frequent-flier fees

June 28, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Delta Air Lines Inc. will add a fuel surcharge of as much as $50 for frequent-flier tickets and US Airways Group Inc. will pare curbside baggage check-in, widening an industrywide hunt for new revenue and savings as costs soar.

Delta said Friday that it would charge $25 to redeem award tickets for U.S. and Canada travel and $50 for international flights starting Aug. 15.

US Airways will end curb service at 34 airports, including New York's Kennedy, on July 9 as it begins a $15 fee for the first checked bag.

Airlines are trying to stem 2008 losses their trade group says may reach a record $13 billion. A 91% surge in fuel in the last year has spurred large carriers to announce almost 12,000 job cuts and the grounding of more than 400 jets.

"Every single dollar is important to them," said Randy Petersen, founder of WebFlyer.com, a site that tracks and analyzes reward programs. "All these new fees, all these cuts in service, it's still not enough. There will be more."

In August, US Airways will add a $25 processing fee on frequent-flier tickets in the U.S. and Canada, $35 to Mexico and the Caribbean and $50 to Hawaii and international destinations.

In addition to reducing curbside check-in, US Airways will replace contract skycap workers with its own employees at 23 other airports to comply with a union contract.

US Airways announced its $25 charge for a second checked bag Feb. 26. Earlier this month, it followed American in adding a $15 fee for just one bag.

Airports that will lose curbside check-in include Atlanta, Houston's Bush Intercontinental, Miami, Detroit and Washington's Dulles.

Those airports where curbside service will be moved to US Airways employees include Chicago's O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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