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Southwest Airlines' added fee may signal more add-on costs

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 11:49 p.m. MDT

Southwest Airlines will add a fee for no-shows starting in 2013. (Jeff Roberson, The Associated Press) Southwest Airlines will add a fee for no-shows starting in 2013. (Jeff Roberson, The Associated Press)

Southwest Airlines' new fee policy will charge no-show costs for customers who don't cancel tickets before a flight. With the slogan "Bags Fly Free," Southwest's reputation of no-nonsense fees may be changing for customers, according to an article by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly didn't dismiss the idea of other added-on fees in the future, although he did say it was unlikely for them to happen in 2013.

“We don’t have a first-bag fee idea for 2013 or a change fee,” Kelly said to Bloomberg.

Currently, Southwest still continues to fly two bags for free, with unspecified increased prices on a third bag.

Average flight costs 2000-2012

The new revenue expected from these fees — an expected $100 million annually — will double the company's earnings.

“This (fee) is pretty industry standard,” Kelly said. “Customers understand we could all benefit from the opportunity to resell a seat. Once the airplane takes off and it’s empty, we can’t ever resell it.”

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