New Checked Bag Fees Reach an Unbelievable $450

oversized bagsGuess what the airlines are giving us for the holidays? Higher checked bag fees! Just in time for the busy travel season that is Thanksgiving through New Year's, airlines such as Continental, United, and American Airlines are now charging up to a whopping 450 freaking dollars to check an over-sized bag on an international flight.

"Over-sized" is defined as 71 to 100 pounds for one bag, which sounds like a lot, but let me tell you: stuff an old suitcase (they were heavier back in the day) full of clothes and throw in a pair of boots or two, and boom. Suddenly you're staring at the scale at the check-in counter forking over hundreds of dollars just to get your ish to where you're going.

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Hardly seems fair, but then again, what do we expect from our airlines? Kids and the elderly are being strip searched at security, frequent flier tickets now have absurd "booking fees," and you have to pay 5 bucks for a bag of almonds if you just happen to get hungry on a five-hour flight.

Families traveling abroad for the holidays are going to be hit the hardest. Say you've got three kids -- before you might have packed all their stuff into one big suitcase, but now, you'll pay the price. Instead what you may have to do is pack three separate smaller bags, pay the $40 checked bag fee for each of those, and maneuver through crowded airports with not only three young ones, but three young ones pulling suitcases. Good times.

A spokesman for American Airlines says the new fees will cover rising fuel costs and will discourage passengers from flying with big bags. I mean, at least he's correct on one point: We're discouraged all right.

The only people I bet are happy about this absurd new over-sized bag check fee are the ski rental shops. I don't think anyone is going to want to travel with their heavy ski gear (or surf gear, for that matter) when it's going to cost them an arm and a leg. Renting the equipment might be the most economical option.

So if you're planning on flying abroad this fall or winter, you have three choices: pay the fee, pack light, or take a boat.

Do you think these fees are crazy?

 

Photo via Matt Ryall/Flickr

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