Google Flight Search quietly began providing detailed bag fee information for first- and second-checked bags for each flight on its desktop and optimized mobile sites for tablets.
Once you select the fare for an American Airlines New York-Miami roundtrip, for example, Google notes that the first-checked bag costs $25 for each leg, and you’ll be charged $60 for each leg for two checked bags. There is also a link to AA.com for more detailed information.
In contrast, if you click on baggage fee information under each flight on Expedia.com, you’ll navigate to a baggage fees chart that covers baggage fees for that route from about 57 airlines. And, Kayak enables users to use an “add baggage” tool, enabling travelers to see what the full fare would be, including bag fees.
On the other hand, Orbitz.com doesn’t provide any bag fee information on the initial search results page, but provides a pop-up window about each airline’s bag fees from the flight details page.
Google Flight Search’s new fee details, which come from ATPCO and the airlines, demonstrate that search and booking engines don’t really need to rely on GDS systems to get fee details — despite what GDS-backed advocacy groups argue.