Delta said it is making changes in its fee structures to make them consistent with those of Northwest, which will eventually be merged into Delta.
Among the changes:
- For travel starting December 5, Delta domestic travelers will have to pay $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second, the same fees that Northwest charges. Delta currently lets passengers check one bag free and charges $50 for the second. SkyMiles Medallion and WorldPerks elite members, as well as first and business class passengers, will be allowed to check up to three bags for free; full-fare coach passengers will be allowed two checked bags for no charge.
- Effective immediately, Delta is scrapping the fuel surcharges that were instituted earlier this year at both airlines for claiming award tickets in the SkyMiles and WorldPerks programs.
- Delta has started selling “Choice Coach Seats” on select flights for a charge of $5 to $25 — the same as Northwest has been doing for some time. The option is offered to persons using self-service check-in, guaranteeing them a preferred seat assignment. The fee varies based on distance and seat location. SkyMiles Medallion members, WorldPerks elites, SkyTeam elites and those traveling on full-fare Y or B tickets can select a Choice Seat for no fee when they check in online or at an airport kiosk.
- Delta has cut the fee for telephone ticket purchases from $25 to $20, the same as Northwest’s; the same fee reduction also applies to frequent flyer award tickets booked over the phone.
- Effective December 5, Delta said it will eliminate its $3 “curbside check-in administrative fee” paid by passengers who check their bags with a skycap at airports worldwide.
Delta executive VP Steve Gorman said Delta does not expect to be affected by ending its first-checked-bag-free policy, since it is the last of the legacy carriers to add a fee. “The increase in bags being carried on board Delta aircraft this year tells us that customers are not differentiating Delta as the only major airline not charging for a first checked bag,” he said.
Some commentary on this… Actually, Southwest is considered a major airline, and it does not charge for a checked bag.