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Southwest Airlines announces new fees for bags, early check-in

December 14, 2012|By Hugo Martin
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles…)

Looking to increase revenues amid tough competition, Southwest Airlines announced several fee changes Friday, including higher charges for checking a third bag and for failing to cancel a ticket before missing a flight.

The Dallas-based airline, the nation’s largest passenger carrier, will continue to charge passengers nothing for their first two checked bags and for changing a flight after buying a ticket.

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The changes, announced Friday during an investors’ conference in New York, are expected to help the airline increase revenue from fees by $300 million annually.

The changes are expected to take effect in 2013.

The fees for a third bag and for overweight or oversize bags will rise from $50 to $75. The charge for the “early bird” check-in that lets passengers board early increases from $10 to $12.50.

The airline has yet to outline the fee for failing to cancel a restricted ticket before missing a flight.

Southwest Chief Commercial Officer Bob Jordan said the “no-show” fee will generate revenue and give passengers an incentive to cancel a ticket before missing a flight so that Southwest can resell those empty seats.

“So, it’s a double win there,” he said during the investors’ conference. “We are still working through the changes but we have made the decision to do it.”

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Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin

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