Delta offers break on bag fees for select credit card customersby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Some relief is on the way for air travelers fuming about fees for checked bags -- if they're willing to sign up for a new credit card.
Starting June 1, Delta Air Lines customers using American Express SkyMiles credit cards won't have to pay the $50 in charges for the first checked bag on a round-trip flight.
The perk extends to a cardholder's family, providing perhaps hundreds of dollars in savings per trip.
The bag fee waiver is part of an American Express campaign to tout the benefits of Delta SkyMiles credit cards.
"The best part of all is there is no limit to the number of times you can use it during the year," said American Express vice president David Rabkin. "So, every single time on every single Delta flight, you'll be able to get your first checked bag for free."
The effort will focus on Delta's major hubs, including Minneapolis-St. Paul.
American Express is still trying to sign up folks who carried the Northwest Airlines WorldPerks Visa card. Delta took over Northwest.
But many, perhaps most, WorldPerks credit cardholders did not land with American Express. U.S. Bank boasts most WorldPerks cardholders signed up for a new air travel awards card issued by the bank.
In 2009, Delta and Northwest airlines took in about $750 million in bag fees between them, according to government data. Overall, U.S. carriers collected some $2.7 billion in bag fees last year.