Sept. 21 (UPI) -- After several U.S. airlines announced they would begin raising baggage fees, Frontier Airlines said it will go in the opposite direction.
American Airlines said Thursday it's raising its fee for the first checked bag from $25 to $30, and from $35 to $40 for the second.
The move follows similar actions by Delta Air Lines, United and JetBlue. JetBlue's bag fees apply to customers who buy discounted "Blue" fares. Customers who buy more expensive tickets get one checked bag free.
Bag fees generate big revenue. U.S. airlines raked in $2.4 billion in the first half of this year from the surcharges, according to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
"They help overcome an economic climate in which costs are rising steadily, as they are today," said Alison McAfee, spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry group that speaks on behalf of several carriers.
Southwest Airlines remains the only major U.S. carrier not to charge bag fees. Passengers who fly Southwest can check two bags at no cost.
Frontier Airlines, which has long been on the other end of the spectrum, said Thursday it will reduce or eliminate fees to change travel dates.
Frontier customers used to pay $99 to change the date they fly. Now, they won't have to pay anything as long as the change is made 90 days in advance. Frontier said there will be a $49 fee for changes made 89 to 14 days before departure, and $99 fewer than 14 days.
The flurry of rising prices has gotten the attention of lawmakers in Congress, who've asked for justification for the fees, which are not subject to the same 7.5 percent tax as airfare.
Several Democratic lawmakers wrote letters to the airlines saying the fees are confusing and poorly communicated to consumers.
"As airline fees rise, passengers' frustration with the modern flying experience continues to grow," the lawmakers said in a joint statement. "After being enticed by artificially low airfares, passengers are bombarded with a rash of airlines fees that can drastically increase the overall cost of flying."