American Airlines to begin charging for first checked bag

FORT WORTH, Texas " American Airlines said Wednesday it will start charging $15 for the first checked bag, cut domestic flights and lay off workers as it grapples with record-high fuel prices.

The nation's largest carrier said the fee for the first checked bag starts June 15 and that it would raise other fees for services ranging from reservation help to oversized bags.

American plans to cut domestic flight capacity by 11 percent to 12 percent in the fourth quarter. American had previously expected fourth-quarter capacity to fall 4.6 percent from the same period in 2007.

Parent AMR Corp. said reduced flying will lead to an undisclosed number of job cuts at both American and its American Eagle subsidiary.

AMR expects to retire 45 to 50 planes from its fleet, most of them gas-guzzling MD-80 aircraft. Those were the plane grounded for faulty wiring last month.

American said rising oil prices have increased its expected annual fuel costs by nearly $3 billion since the start of the year.


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