Amtrak to introduce bag fees for passengers exceeding limits

Customers are allowed to bring for free two personal items weighing up to 25 pounds

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP — Amtrak will now be charging certain customers for baggage fees.

Starting Thursday, the passenger train service will charge $20 to passengers who exceed limits for carry-on and personal items. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the fees will help enforce the company’s established polices, preserve space on crowded trains and reduce safety concerns created by items that are too heavy.

Customers are allowed to bring for free two personal items weighing up to 25 pounds and two carry-on bags weighing no more than 50 pounds each. Personal items might include things like a backpack, laptop, purse or other small bags. Passengers with children under the age of 2 also can bring onboard an additional item like a stroller or diaper bag.

The change is similar to what has happened in the airline industry over the last several years.  Some U-S airlines started introducing baggage fees in 2008 and now charge a standard fee of $25 for the first checked piece of luggage. Those fees generated $1.6 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Amtrak, however says their fees are not just about revenue,according to Magliari.

“It is simply a space and safety initiative,” he said.

He said the fee was aimed at a small percentage of the company’s 31 million passengers who exceed limits for what they can bring onboard for free. Passengers can avoid the fee by checking their bags through to the final destination, if that service is available on their train.

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