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The pricing responses of non-bag fee airlines to the use of bag fees in the US air travel market


  • Zou, Li
  • Yu, Chunyan
  • Rhoades, Dawna
  • Waguespack, Blaise


Using a panel data for Southwest and JetBlue in the 1st quarter of 2009, 2011, and 2013, we develop an empirical study and find evidence suggesting that the amount of bag fee charged by bag fee airlines, including those direct rivals at the route level and indirect rivals competing from adjacent airports, has a positive and significant effect on the airfare of non-bag fee airlines and such a positive association is smaller on vacation-oriented routes, but greater on routes with higher per capita income at endpoint cities. Moreover, the results are found that on the routes where Southwest is the only non-bag fee airline, the amount of bag fee charged by other airlines has a positive and significant effect on the traffic volume of Southwest. This traffic increasing effect, however, may be offset by the higher airfare of Southwest in response to other airlines’ imposition of bag fees.

Suggested Citation

  • Zou, Li & Yu, Chunyan & Rhoades, Dawna & Waguespack, Blaise, 2017. "The pricing responses of non-bag fee airlines to the use of bag fees in the US air travel market," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 209-219.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaitra:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:209-219
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2017.06.015

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    Bag fees; Product unbundling; Airline pricing;


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