American Airlines considers new price structure...choose your level of discomfort

Brace yourself for more changes in the airline industry. American Airlines, the company that paved the way for all the other airlines to charge for checking your luggage, is considering more fees for fliers.

Charges for checked luggage have been a real moneymaker for airlines, with most estimating several hundred million dollars in additional revenue since adding the charges, usually in the neighborhood of $15-$25 per regular-sized bag. The charges are also likely doing a lot to save the airlines on fuel, as passengers try harder to lighten their loads and avoid the fees.

While the baggage fees have been successful for airlines, they're still struggling financially, so American Airlines plans to lead the way once again with new a la carte pricing for "extras" on flights. Things that up to now have been "free," or rather, included in your fare price, will be "unbundled." Starting in 2009, American will introduce charges for things like beverages, blankets, special seating, and more. This new price structure will allegedly reduce the baseline fare (this frequent flier is skeptical) so that only those who want extras will have to pay for them.