• Clark Howard: Bags Lost? You Still Owe Bag Fee

    ATLANTA,None - If you ask people at the airport what fees they hate the most, odds are they'll say baggage fees. But some people hate the fees more than others.

    Last Winter, Belinda Skelton went on a ski trip. She got there on a direct flight. Her bags didn't.

    Skelton said, "All of our ski clothing and equipment is on a plane that we don't know where."

    Skelton wanted her baggage fee refunded. The answer: No.

    Skelton was mad. "I did not get what I paid for."

    Airlines are quick to take money for checked bags, but rules are vague about refunds if a bag doesn't arrive safely with a passenger.

    A new bill in Congress could change that. It's called the "Baggage Fee Fairness act" and it would force airlines to refund bag fees if baggage is lost, delayed or damaged.

    As for Skelton, her bags showed up a day late, but that was a day of skiing she missed. She talked about it on WSB Radio, and the airline reacted by giving her a voucher toward a future trip. Still, Skelton said she's learned her lesson.

    Skelton said, "If I did it again, I would send a big box ahead of time to the hotel with all of our ski clothes in it."

    Clark Howard said many people are mailing their baggage. In fact, UPS now sells suitcase shaped boxes with handles.

    How does Clark deal with bag fees? He never pays them. Clark hasn't checked a bag since 1979. If he can't put something in a carry-on bag, he doesn't take it with him.

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