American Airlines is on a roll, and not in a good way.
After the merger with US Airways, the airline followed Delta and United in converting its loyalty program to a spend-based scheme, which means fewer miles and free trips for the great majority of American’s flyers.
In April, American nixed its customer-friendly no-fee 24-hour hold on bookings, again opting to follow the industry-standard practice (which, not coincidentally, is the more profitable alternative).
Earlier this month, American announced new mileage-earning rates for flights on AAdvantage partner airlines. Once again, most program members will be disadvantage by the changes, earning fewer miles for the most popular coach fares.
And today, as first noted on FlyerTalk, with no advance notice the airline added or increased the fees charged for checked bags on a number of Latin America and Caribbean routes:
- $25 first checked bag fee extended to all of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean except for Panama City and San Salvador; no more exceptions for Kingston, Mexico City, Santo Domingo
- New $40 second checked-bag fee to Guayaquil and Quito
- New $55 seasonal second checked-bag charge to Port au Prince, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa
- New $40 seasonal second checked-bag charge to Cali
The new fees apply to travel on tickets issued or reissued on or after July 26.
No doubt all these changes are good for American’s bottom line, and for investors in American’s stock. For American’s customers: not so much.
Reader Reality Check
Has your perception of American changed post-merger?
More from SmarterTravel:
- Bad News for AAdvantage Members: New Earning Rates on Partner Airlines
- Is the U.S. Losing Cachet as a Tourist Destination?
- New J.D. Power Study Reveals What Hotel Guests Really Want
After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
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