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David's Family Travel Tips

February 2008

At DTR Travel Inc., we are always looking for better ways to provide value added services for our customers. Sharing valuable travel information and tips is just another way to keep you informed.

This Month's Tip(s):  Pack Light or Pay Up.

I guess we will all need to practice our packing skills before we fly this summer. United Airlines announced that it would begin charging $25.00 to check in a second bag.

Here is their press release sent out February 4, 2008.

United Airlines Announces New Checked Bag Policy

CHICAGO, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As part of its continuing effort to offer customers choice, flexibility, and low fares, United is announcing a new, simplified checked bag policy for customers who purchase nonrefundable domestic economy tickets. United's new checked bag policy is available at

Customers who purchase nonrefundable domestic economy tickets and do not have status in Mileage Plus or Star Alliance may check one bag for free and a second bag for a $25 service fee.

For all customers, the cost to check up to four additional bags will be $100 per bag. Previous charges ranged from $85-$125 per bag. The cost to check items that require special handling because they are large, overweight or fragile will now be either $100 or $200, depending on the item.

United's most frequent fliers -- customers who have Premier status or higher in Mileage Plus, or Silver status or higher with Star Alliance -- will continue to receive the benefit of checking two bags for free.

"This change enables us to continue offering customers competitive fares, and it fits with our overall strategy to tailor our products and services around what our customers value most and are willing to pay for, as we have with our popular Economy Plus seating," said John Tague, executive vice president and chief revenue officer. "Our customer research shows that only about one in four customers check a second bag, and with this new policy, customers who check extra bags may continue to do so for a service fee, which enables us to offer competitive fares to everyone."

United estimates that this change will generate more than $100 million annually for the company in cost savings and new revenue.

This new checked bag policy applies for travel beginning on May 5, 2008, within the U.S. and to/from Canada, San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, and the service fee to check a second bag only applies to tickets purchased on or after Feb. 4, 2008. Customers may pay this service fee at an airport Easy Check-In(SM) kiosk with a credit card or at the check-in counter with a credit card, check or cash.

For itineraries that include international flights (except Canada), checking a second bag will continue to be free and the cost to check more than two bags or items that are overweight or require special handling varies by

This hits home since many of our clients are larger families with children and packing for that once a year vacation has either just become more difficult or more expensive. I know when I travel on vacation I tend to over pack and check in two pieces of luggage, usually the second one is not packed full leaving room for purchases to bring home. I am going to have to rethink that strategy. Some of you might say I am going to purchase a larger piece of luggage so you can stuff more into it but be careful you do not go over 50 lbs or you will get charged an extra fee.

Some people might decide not to fly on United so the question is will the other major airlines match this policy or leave United out there to test the waters and see how they do? I suspect that is why United decided not to start the new policy until May, so they can see what type of response they will get.

As I look down the road I wonder what they will charge for next. That 4-ounce glass of soda might not be free anymore and that little bag of peanuts, well get your wallet out.

Actually using airline mentality, I have an idea that will make them even more money. Give out as many free sodas and water as possible and then charge $10.00-$20.00 to use the bathroom. Of course the bathroom charge will be based on the length of the flight in order to maximize revenue.

Oh the joys of flying……..

Wishing you and your family safe journeys.


David Rojahn, CTC
DTR Travel Inc.

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