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Incoming Southwest CEO: No change on bag, flight change fees

If you fly out of Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, chances are pretty good you’ll be on a Southwest Airlines flight. After all, Southwest is far and away the dominant carrier at BWI.

So you may be interested in comments recently made by soon-to-be Southwest CEO Bob Jordan and outgoing CEO Gary Kelly in an interview with USA Today published June 23.

Does the leadership change, the pair were asked, portend any rethinking on Southwest’s policies regarding luggage fees and charges for flight changes?

Southwest’s competitors long ago started charging for checked luggage, a policy that has been a lucrative one for them through the years. Southwest instead has embraced a “bags-fly-free” approach, stoutly refusing to charge for checked luggage, and it doesn’t assess a fee for changing tickets.

“I will say emphatically that we will not charge for bags,” Jordan said. “And there will be no (ticket) change fees.”

Jordan appeared to leave the door open a bit for the company to explore switching to assigned seating. He said in the interview that Southwest on several occasions has studied assigned seating but that its customers made it clear they “generally prefer open seating.” The airline might take a look at it again at some point, he said.