Waiting all day for your suitcase? Your baggage fee will soon come back to you, too

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Let's say you arrive at an airport a day before your suitcase does. Do you get your baggage fee back from the airline?

Right now the answer might be: "Well, we'll see about that ... you'll have to visit our website and fill out an application. Here at Delta you won't get a cash refund, but you may be eligible for a voucher. It could be for as much as $50 – even though checking two bags would have cost you $60."

But in the future? No applications or vouchers, just report the late bag and the carrier will "promptly provide an automated refund."

That's the language in a new law passed this month. The measure authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration to keep operating through September of next year also made some changes.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota – who chairs the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation – was especially proud of airport security measures in the bill.

But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the baggage fee refund provision, quoting Thune's remark on the Senate floor that “passengers won’t have to spend a ton of time tracking down a refund when the airline doesn’t deliver.”

The Transportation Department has up to a year to finalize new regulations, the newspaper says.


Atlanta-based Delta Airlines is the dominant carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport.

They charge $25 to check one bag. If there's a second bag, that will cost you another $35. Those fees have been lucrative.

Numbers from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show Delta reported $875 million in baggage fee revenue last year, which was about $1 million less than the industry's leader, American Airlines.

Next Up


$100 carry-on baggage fee!? Spirit Airlines hiking prices this fall

Travelers who wait to pay for carry-ons at the departure gate will soon be charged $100, more than double the current $45 fee. Other luggage fees are going up as well starting November 6. Spirit Airlines will fly into the Twin Cities later this month and begin offering daily flights to Las Vegas and Chicago.