The Shift in Airline Baggage Policies: From 2 Bags to 1 on US India International Flights

Why Airlines Are Limiting Passengers to 1 Bag on International Flights from the USA

International Flights

Airlines worldwide have been altering their baggage policies, with a noticeable shift from allowing two checked bags to just one on international flights from the USA to India. This change has left many travelers frustrated and inconvenienced, particularly those embarking on long-haul journeys who are accustomed to packing more for their trips. At the heart of this shift lies the airline industry's increasing focus on maximizing profits, often at the expense of passenger convenience. Post-COVID-19, airlines have faced significant financial challenges, and in their bid to recover, they have turned to various revenue-boosting strategies, including reducing baggage allowances. This article delves into the reasons behind this policy change, shedding light on the airlines' growing emphasis on their bottom line and the impact on travelers.

Airlines like Etihad, Air India, Emirates, Qatar, BA, and KLM  typically allow two 23kg checked bags, highlighting the need to choose airlines that fit your luggage requirements.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the airline industry hard, grounding fleets and drastically reducing passenger numbers. As international travel resumes, airlines are eager to recoup their losses. Unfortunately, this has led to a surge in ancillary fees, including those for checked baggage. Airlines have become increasingly "greedy," prioritizing their financial recovery over passenger satisfaction. By reducing the free checked baggage allowance, they compel passengers to either pack lighter or pay extra fees, thus boosting their revenues. This shift reflects a broader trend in the industry, where the bottom line has become more important than ever, and every opportunity to increase income is exploited, often to the detriment of the traveler experience.

It appears that many European airlines have updated their policies to allow only one checked bag for Economy passengers - Lufthansa/United have 1 check bag allowance.

Airlines Have Become Greedy

Many passengers feel that airlines have grown greedy, using every opportunity to charge for services that were once included in the ticket price. The reduction in baggage allowance is a prime example. This shift means that travelers, especially those on extended trips, are now forced to either pay extra for an additional bag or make do with less. The added costs can be substantial, turning what might seem like a minor policy change into a significant expense for frequent travelers.

Bottom Line Is More Important

The driving force behind this policy change is clear: the bottom line. Airlines are under immense pressure to improve their financial performance post-pandemic. Reducing the baggage allowance is an effective way to increase revenue, as many passengers will need to check a second bag and pay the associated fee. This strategy not only boosts immediate income but also reduces operational costs, as handling fewer bags means lower expenses in terms of labor and logistics.

After COVID, They Just Want to Make Money

The financial impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry cannot be overstated. With flights canceled, staff furloughed, and fleets grounded, airlines have been desperate to find ways to recover financially. One of the quickest and most effective methods has been to increase ancillary fees, with baggage fees being an easy target. By reducing the free checked baggage allowance from two bags to one, airlines can capitalize on the need for travelers to carry more, thereby generating additional revenue streams. This approach underscores the harsh reality of the current airline industry landscape: making money has taken precedence over passenger comfort and convenience.

Airlines That Charge for Two Checked Bags on International Flights

Several airlines charge for a second checked bag on international flights, especially from the USA. Here are some examples:

  1. American Airlines: Charges for the second checked bag on many international routes.
  2. United Airlines: Implements fees for the second checked bag on several international flights.
  3. Delta Air Lines: Often charges for a second checked bag on international routes, depending on the destination.
  4. JetBlue Airways: Charges for both the first and second checked bags on most international flights.
  5. Spirit Airlines: Charges for all checked bags, including the first and second, on international routes.
  6. Frontier Airlines: Fees apply for all checked bags, including the second one, on international flights.
  7. Norwegian Air: Typically charges for the second checked bag on international flights.
  8. Ryanair: Charges for all checked baggage, including the second bag, on international routes.
  9. WOW Air: Applies fees for the second checked bag on international flights.
  10. Aer Lingus: Charges for the second checked bag on many transatlantic flights.

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