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According to this thread on FlyerTalk and this thread on Milepoint, Southwest will now start charging a no-show fee for those who fail to cancel their tickets before the flight departs.

Extra fees, especially on traveler-friendly Southwest, are never a good thing. But I am shocked that a fee like this wasn’t in place before. Now that it is, I honestly can’t blame them for implementing it. It makes sense to penalize when Southwest could resell the seat for a higher price at the last minute. You can still cancel a ticket before a flight with no penalty. Scott actually booked a Rapid Rewards award ticket for me to attend Frequent Traveler University a few weeks ago. When my plans changed, he was able to get back the points without any issues or charges.

Southwest also announced that its Early Bird Check-In fee would increase from $10 to $12.50. This isn’t an extra that ever struck my fancy. I am always diligent about checking in right at the 24 hour mark before my Southwest flights and usually ended up with a decent A or B zone boarding number. That’s enough to get an aisle or window somewhere on the plane. This move will help Southwest capture a bit more revenue for a service many people enjoy.

Of greater concern, though, is the fact that Southwest will begin charging more for a third checked bag. A third bag will now be $75, up from $50. The first and second bag remain free. Overweight baggage will also cost more ($50 fee is now $100).

This move can be seen as a way to minimize the lack of revenue from the first two free checked bags. A pessimist might view it as the beginning of the end of free checked bags on Southwest…..even though their “Bags Fly Free” mantra has endeared them to leisure travelers. For now, they remain the most friendly airline with regard to baggage and fees.

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