Alaska Air promises $25 if your bags don't appear within 25 minutes

It's not often these days that we have cause to praise an airline, but today, the news is good.

Alaska Air announced that it will guarantee timely delivery of your luggage to the baggage claim. If your bag takes longer than 25 minutes after your plane is parked at the gate, then you'll get a voucher worth $25 for future travel on either Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air. You can choose to receive 2,500 frequent flier miles instead, if that's what you want (which might make sense if you don't plan on being on Alaska again anytime soon).

The policy will be effective July 7, as summer travel peaks. It will be interesting to see how much trouble it costs the airline. Passengers will keep one eye on their watches and more than a few will demand refunds should they perceive the time elapsed to be as long as 25:01. The time a flight is marked as parked at the gate is a matter of federal record, but it won't always be easy to convince passengers that their own timekeeping is off, but it should provide some entertainment at Alaska Airline's baggage claim desk.I dare the other airlines to do this, but they probably
don't have the guts. Or the efficiency. Plus, they have to fly to congested places like Chicago and Newark, where such a promise would be nearly impossible to keep.

There is a down side. Alaska Airlines has also announced that effective the same day, it's going to start charging $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second one. So it's really taking in way more baggage cash than it's giving out. But, hey, if Alaska gets the timing truly wrong, you could stand to come out $10 ahead.

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