Ticked off skiers launch grassroots effort to lift new baggage fees

They may be a little late to the game, but then again, the first skiers who will probably be hit by these fees won’t see them until this summer (winter in South American ski resorts like Valle Nevado and Cerro Catedral). But a group of skiers is protesting the planned second-bag surcharge that United Airlines and US Airways have announced, hoping to enlist scuba divers, golfers and parents with strollers to their cause.

The woman behind the protest is skier and travel agent Harriet Warner, who is concerned that her clients will pay extra for their vacations. But, she says, the policy change affects “all travelers who cannot possibly travel with just one piece of luggage.”

We had posted a link on our ski club web site for people to send protest emails to United Airlines. Many skiers responded and got canned responses that indicate it’s a done deal.

So Warner, who is based in New Jersey, started a protest Web site. “The site will not collect email addresses or claim affiliation to any ski club or travel business,” she says. “It will only forward the messages to the customer service e-mails.”

If United and US Airways get enough e-mails, they may exempt skis and other sports equipment from the new second-bag surcharge. But it will take a concerted effort, not only by skiers, but scuba divers, concerned moms, golfers and air traveler advocates.

Are there any air traveler advocates left out there?

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on our help forum.

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  • Bill

    Ski trips cost thousands of dollars, it seems moot to protest a small charge to bring a large item like skis.