Cost of checking luggage at the airport is rising

Lawton_The cost of checking luggage at the airport is rising, and if you fly American Airlines, you'll soon be paying extra to check even one piece of luggage.  Just last week, American started charging passengers $25 for checking a second bag when flying.  But, beginning June 15, you'll be paying $15 for the first one too.

American Airlines says the extra charges are yet another ripple effect of the record price of oil.  They say fuel costs too much to transport extra luggage without the extra charge.  How will it affect the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport?  Airport Manager Barbara McNally says American Airlines also will be charging for extra luggage departing from this location.

Another effect of rising fuel costs - layoffs.  The American Airlines Corporate Office says that since fuel costs are so high, they also have to lay off some workers, and even cut some flights.  "By the fourth quarter, our domestic schedule with be 11% - 12% smaller on a year-over-year basis," says Chief Executive Officer Gerard Arpey.  "This will result in the grounding of 40 to 45 American jets."

The Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport's local American Airlines' office was unable to comment, but the national office says they are still determining which flights to cut, or whether Lawton-Fort Sill will even be included in the cuts.

American Airlines' annual fuel bill is expected to increase $3 billion, and only Southwest Airlines is expected to show a profit this year.  Delta says they will not be adding additional charges to their baggage, and don't plan on making any flight changes.

American Airline's fees won't be charged to passengers with gold and platinum "AAdvantage" memberships or international travelers.