Southwest adds fees for pets
DALLAS Southwest Airlines, which has bashed competitors for charging fees, said Friday it will add new fees for passengers who bring small pets onboard and for unaccompanied minors.
It will also raise the charge for checking a third piece of luggage or an overweight bag.
Other airlines have raised hundreds of millions of dollars since last year with new fees that include charges for checking one or two pieces of luggage and talking to reservations agents by phone.
Southwest fired back by spending heavily on television commercials that blasted other airlines for charging “hidden fees.” Southwest officials said they were winning customers turned off by the new bag fees.
On Friday, Southwest officials defended their own new fees, which Chief Executive Gary Kelly called “just the starting point” for more changes later this year.
“It is always our goal to be upfront with our customers and to set the right customer expectations,” Kelly said. “Our changes today associate a charge for items that are truly an extra service.”
Southwest has lost money the past three quarters, and it has joined all other airlines in searching for new revenue, made more difficult by a drop in travel during the reces mulberry outlet sion.
mulberry outlet Southwest already charges for ch mul mulberry outlet berry outlet ecking three or more pieces of luggage and for cocktails, and it is testing onboard Internet access for a fee. Kelly hinted last month that new fees were coming, while insisting they wouldn’t be “hidden,” by which he seemed to mean fees on first and second checked bags.
Starting with flights on June 17, Southwest will let small dogs and cats onboard now only service animals are allowed for $75 each way.
The Dallas based discount airline will also begin charging $25 each way for unaccompanied children ages 5 through 11. That fee will apply to tickets bought after Sunday for travel June 17 or later.