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Southwest Airlines to add new fees for pets, unaccompanied minors

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: May 30, 2009
lly hinted new fees were coming, while insisting they wouldn’t be "hidden,” by which he seemed to mean fees on first and second checked bags.

"It’s disingenuous on our part to say that there are no, quote, fees,” Kelly said. "We just try to be as honest and straightforward and have the right expectation with our customers on fees as we can.”

Kelly said hidden fees are ones "that people don’t think are right.”

Starting with flights June 17, Southwest will let small dogs and cats onboard — now only service animals are allowed — for $75 each way.

The Dallas-based discount airline also will begin charging $25 each way for unaccompanied children ages 5 through 11. That fee will apply to tickets bought after May 31 for travel June 17 or later.

And the fee for a third checked bag or a bag over 50 pounds but less than 71 pounds will rise to $50 from $25.

"The fees for pets is something all airlines have — in fact, some are close to $150 one way, so at $75 Southwest is pretty low,” travel industry expert Terry Trippler said.