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Airline Baggage Fees Go International

As fare wars with discount carriers cross the Atlantic, some “full-service” airlines are making you pay in other ways.
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Fare Wars With Discount Airlines Cross the Atlantic

Delta Air Lines Inc. will soon demolish a travel shibboleth that dates back decades. The airline’s introduction of its “basic economy” fares across the Atlantic will herald the end of free checked bags for international travelers who choose the lowest price.

Starting on April 10, Delta and three of its European joint venture partners—Air France, Alitalia and KLM—will add a $60 charge to check a bag if you purchase the basic, or “light,” fare now offered on more than half of its European routes. In other words, pay less for your ticket and more for luggage, or just limit yourself to a carry on. Delta’s change, announced last month, also extends restrictions similar to those found on domestic routes, such as an advanced seat assignment, ticket changes or refunds.