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Sandi Jackson: $15 Checked-Bag Fee Is Discriminatory

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jun 5, 2008 9:59PM

2008_6_5.sandijackson.jpgThis one slipped through the cracks yesterday, but Division Street calls our attention to Sandi Jackson's latest crusade: that $15 fee American is charging on checked baggage. It's discriminatory, she says.

Charging for something that always has been free is a questionable business practice in itself. But American has stepped over the bounds of propriety, good judgment and simple fairness by deciding to single out coach passengers for the special fee.

Business-class travelers? No extra charge. First-class passengers? The $15 tariff does not apply. Same for international travelers. So there are no worries for AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members.

There's no problem for other favored groups of customers.

But if you're a college student heading back to school, a woman flying to another city for a job interview, a family departing for a long-planned vacation -- in other words, someone who can afford the extra charge the least -- you're on the hook.

Psssst. Sandi. First class passengers are already paying more, and sometimes doing stuff costs money. Jackson's not arguing that American doesn't need the money, so let's go with that: It costs more to do the same things. So to stay in business, American has to charge more, yes? It could charge everyone, regardless of whether they check a bag, more, or it can charge specific fees.

And FWIW, why the hell would a woman traveling for a job interview be someone who can least afford $15? She sounds like she's got it going on. [S-T, Reader]