This Airline Excuse Always Means Customers Are Getting Hosed

Earlier this week American changed its checked baggage policy effective October 1.

Like US Airways, it will no longer interline bags on separate tickets although they’re a little more generous than legacy US Airways — because they’ll still do it if the flights involved are on oneworld airlines.

They’ve at least now informed travel agents of the change, via the following message:

Of course, most customers don’t know, and it’s a mere days away.

Here’s what is just icing on top of the change — the purported reason, to align themselves with other airlines in the industry, as though that’s a value in and of itself.

And what other airlines, exactly? United will still allow this. Delta will not, and the new American policy is similar to British Airways’.

So it’s true that American isn’t alone but it’s disingenous to suggest that they are aligning their policies with what is standard in the industry, and across the world.

And you know that when an airline says the reason for a change is to be “consistent with other airlines in the industry” that customers are taking it on the chin. Because other airlines — in this case the least generous other airlines — hardly represents a high bar.

“Consistent with other airlines in the industry” is like calling a policy an “enhancement.” You know anyone using that term just isn’t playing straight with you, or doing you any favors.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I wish they were more honest and often times companies do not realize that telling the whole or part of the truth is better than giving a bogus reason.

    It is obvious they want to minimize liability and reduce the odds of a bag getting misplaced (and cutting some costs in the process). That is a perfectly acceptable reason and a much better one than their current reason.

  2. I hate it when companies do this. AT&T recently raised my internet bill 10% per month with no increase in speed. When I called them and asked why, they said it was the same thing “to keep us more in line with the competition.” I informed the sales rep that if I was so crazy with what their competition was doing I would’ve already left AT&T and she didn’t really have a response.

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