06/16/2008 06:38 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Time To Say Bye-Bye To Your Baggage

You might think that's a good thing. But I'm not talking about the kind of baggage you shed after one of those breakthrough therapy sessions. No I'm talking about the kind you pack to take on a trip. Forget your pregnant self, your kids gear, your sporting equipment - if you want to check it - it's likely to cost extra.

First American Airlines announced that it was going to charge $15 for the first checked bag. I had hoped that was going to be an anomaly. I hoped no other carrier would match the fee and it would disappear quietly. It looked possible as the word I got from other carriers was that it was hard enough to get people to accept, what is now pretty much industry standard, the $25 second checked bag fee. (And just a reminder to any of you packaholics this is a per leg charge so it's $50 round trip on a direct flight.)

For a few nearly blissful weeks while fuel prices continued to rise no one match American's fee. Until yesterday when United announced they too would be charging the first bag fee. As if that weren't enough, late yesterday the third carrier to match this fee structure was US Airways. US Airways also announced they'll charge for non-alcoholic beverages and serve snacks for a price. (Just a week before they had announced that they would no longer be serving complimentary pretzels on board.) And with that hat-trick I fear the days of free baggage are over, my travling friends.

As the saying goes, desperate times... No wonder the Derrie-Air spoof has gotten so much attention.

For more travel commentary from Amy Ziff check out the Window Seat blog.