Southwest, the only U.S. airline that lets passengers check two pieces of luggage for free, says the no-fee policy has helped the airline increase its share of the domestic market by about 1 percent, or $800 million to $900 million.
The no-fee policy can be a gamble. At a time fewer people are flying and airlines seek every dollar, checked-bag fees added up to $1.24 billion for airlines in the first half of 2009.
Southwest’s policy is “a smart marketing ploy, particularly given the economic circumstances most Americans are experiencing these days,” says Lopo Rego, a University of Iowa marketing professor.
source: Sun Times