Southwest Airlines: No plans to start charging for checked luggage

Customers flying Southwest can check up to two bags without a fee.

Customers flying Southwest can check up to two bags without a fee.  (AP File Photo)

Southwest Airlines will maintain its “bags fly free” policy, making it still the last major U.S. carrier to offer a luggage checking service without a fee in economy class.

Currently, all passengers can check up to two bags per flight. A third piece of luggage will cost travelers a sizeable $75.

Chief Executive Gary Kelly addressed a business travel conference in Orlando earlier this week and said he would not rethink Southwest’s current policy because it makes “financial sense” for the airline, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Last month, Southwest’s low-cost competitor JetBlue Airways began charging $15 for the first piece of checked luggage.

In 2014, airlines collected a staggering $3.5 billion in baggage fees. During the first quarter of 2015, domestic airlines have already collected $864 million in revenue from bag fees, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. But Kelly told conference attendees that he would be concerned about Southwest losing business to its competitors by instating a fee for any checked luggage.

"Who wouldn't want to be the only competitor doing a certain thing?" he said.

This comes as Southwest netted an all-time quarterly profit high amid its ninth consecutive quarter of record reported earnings.