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Airlines could hike charges on overweight baggage because passengers are getting heavier, according to an industry expert

Airlines could hike charges on overweight baggage because passengers are getting heavier, according to an industry expert

Passengers board an American Airlines flight from California to North Carolina
Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images




Airlines could use higher passenger weights to charge more for baggage, says an industry expert.




American Airlines said its average passenger weights had risen by eight pounds.




But experts say airlines are unlikely to weigh passengers before they board their flights.




See more stories on Insider's business page.


Airlines could hike charges on overweight baggage as they try to account for heavier passengers, an industry expert told Insider. American Airlines confirmed to Insider on June 10 that its average passenger weights had increased, while airline officials told the Wall Street Journal that average passenger and baggage weights had risen between 5% and 10%, but did not say over what period. Henry Harteveldt, president of travel research firm Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider that he wouldn't be "surprised if airlines use the higher passenger weight estimates to charge passengers more money." Airlines might reduce their weight limit for checked bags, increase charges for overweight luggage, or both, he said.
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