Is there any good news for family fliers? Yes, but this isn’t it. American Airlines will charge $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag, assuming you are flying domestically on a discounted ticket and are not a top-level frequent flier.

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No one knows when or if other airlines will follow American’s lead and start charging for the first bag. “We are seriously studying it,” said United spokesman Robin Urbanski.

Many airlines already have instituted fees for second bags. Blame it on oil prices. This is being done, the airlines say, in an effort to defray spiraling fuel costs that have already cost them billions.

They’ve already cut back on food and number of flights. They’re upping fees for pets. Be prepared for higher ticket prices and even less room in the overhead compartments as passengers try to cram even more in their carry-on bags.

The record-high gas prices are already making nearly 60 percent of us rethink summer vacation plans, according to the latest Discover U.S. Spending Monitor, which polls consumers daily on their spending habits.

Read the rest of the story here to pack smarter and lighter for traveling in flights even with kids.


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