is capping the weight of the two pieces of free checked baggage for each passenger on flights to and from the United
States (including Guam) and Canada at 50 pounds (23 kilograms) per piece for tickets issued or re-issued starting July 1, 2008.
Tickets issued before July 1 – but for travel from July 1 onward – still entitle the passenger to the
free baggage weight limit of 70 pounds (32 kilograms) per piece.
Record-high fuel prices have forced PAL to follow the lead of most major carriers in reducing baggage allowance on trans-Pacific routes, as
a way of cutting operational cost.
The six largest U.S. carriers have gone even further. American, United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, Continental and U.S.
Airways have all recently imposed fees on checked baggage on domestic U.S. routes.
Airlines and United
Airlines now charge their economy-class passengers $15 each way for the first checked baggage and $25 for the
second while Delta, Northwest and Continental bill $25 only for the second bag.
others are expected to soon follow AA and UA's lead in charging even the first piece of luggage, thus virtually eliminating free
baggage allowance for economy fliers on interior U.S. routes.
The draconian measures are part of efforts by airlines worldwide to stay afloat in the face of surging fuel prices. Oil touched a record
US$139.12 per barrel in trading last June 5 and currently trades (at
press time) at around US$$134 per barrel.
Prices are double what they were a year ago and have surged six-fold since 2002. As a result, the International Air Transport Association
has forecast a massive global industry loss of $6.1 billion this
year, which itself is likely to be revised downward if oil prices
continue to escalate.
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