US Airways the latest to increase extra bag fee

US Airways has joined the ranks of airlines increasing their fees for extra baggage. The low cost carrier is raising its extra baggage fees by $5 each way, which is comparable to the increases levied by Delta, Continental and United. With the new charge, US Airways will be charging $25 for the first bag checked, with a second bag costing you $35 each way. The new fee takes effect on February 1, 2010. If you pay in advance, you can pick up a $2 discount on the first bag and a $3 on the second bag. American Airlines is still charging $20 each way for the first checked bag and $30 for the second one. On JetBlue, the first checked bag is free, and Southwest will let you check two bags sans charge.

The increased fees aren’t terribly surprising. The travel market slump is likely to continue through much of 2010, especially with the job market unlikely to improve until the middle of the year. And, airlines have become accustomed to all the extra cash they pick up from these fees. Since you’re a captive audience, they know you’re likely to pay … what other choice do you have?

So, get ready to cram everything you have into the overhead compartment. You’ll draw the ire of everyone else on the plane, but you’ll have the satisfaction of a few Andy Jacksons sitting in your pocket.