American Airlines announced Thursday that it will begin assessing passengers a $15 fee for their first piece of checked luggage.  This fee is on top of the normal fare, which presumably used to include passage for you AND your luggage. This 'Additional Revenue Initiative" is just one of a series of steps American is taking in its attempt to return to profitability. Some American Airlines customer have suggested other ways to increase revenue such as a "Walking Down the Aisle Fee" or a "Flushing the Toliet Fee".

Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, has promised not to jump into the arbitrary fee game. 

"We want to assure you that Southwest Airlines still allows you to check up to two free bags when you travel with us, and has no plans to change that. You can still count on Southwest Airlines to provide high quality air travel at a low fare, without a lot of extra fees. We look forward to seeing you onboard very soon. (And bring your luggage!)", the company said in a statement released.

To help travelers cope with various airline's luggage fees, Loews Hotels has introduced a new "Baggage Buy Back" program.  Arriving guests can present any airline bag fee receipt at the front desk to receive the rebate, which will be issued in the form of a credit to their bill at check-out. The Baggage Buy Back rebate is available at Loews' 18 properties in the U.S. and Canada, beginning June 15 through Labor Day. Loews Hotels will offer credit for up to two bags for a maximum of $30 per occupied room per stay.

"In just the last few months, airlines have added myriad new fees to cover rising fuel prices," said Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels. "At Loews Hotels, we want to demonstrate to our guests how much we appreciate their business and one way we can do this is by helping them rein in some of the hidden costs of travel that are becoming increasingly common."

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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