New $5 fee for paying $15 fee to check your bag at airport

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United and US Airways will start charging $5 if you pay the fee for checking a bag at the airport check-in counter instead of in advance online. The fees themselves are $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second.

Meanwhile, Alaska Air is adding a $15 charge for the first checked bag starting July 1. For trips to Europe, Delta and Northwest are slapping on a $50 fee for the second checked bag (for flights departing on or after July 1).

Faced with the sluggish economy, the airlines are tacking on fees on top of fees to try to stay in the black. United, for one, believes it will rake in up to half-a-billion dollars in fees this year.

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