Airlines are imposing hefty penalties for heavy baggage and many now charge for the mere privilege of checking a bag.
Pretty much they all charge you for your baggage now, some more than others. Here's a list of some of the prices.
Air France: Each passenger is allowed to check two items free of charge. Each item must not exceed a weight of 23 kg. (50 lbs.) Those bags weighing in excess of that amount incur a fee of €50 (or $50 USD/CAD). Each additional item incurs a fee of $150 USD.
All Nippon Airways
ANA allows two free checked baggage pieces on international flights. Each piece must weigh less than 50 lbs.
For flights within the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada, American passengers pay $15 USD for their first checked bag and $25 for the second bag.
On international flights, one carry-on and two checked bags are permitted for free. American charges $100 per piece for the 3rd, 4th and 5th checked bags and $200 per piece for the 6th checked bag and any additional pieces.
China Southern Airlines
The China Southern free baggage allowance is 40kg. for first class, 30kg. for business class, and 20kg. for economy class.
Continental charges passengers within the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with one checked bag in economy $15 USD. Each bag must not exceed 23 kg. (50 lbs.) A second bag costs $25. International travelers are permitted two checked bags at no charge.
Delta now charges $15 USD for the first checked bag and $25 for a second. If traveling outside the U.S. you can check two bags free of charge.
Lufthansa allows two checked bags per passenger weighing 23-32 kg. each, depending upon your route.
United charges each passenger $15 for the first checked bag. Oversize bags (beyond 50 lbs.) incur a fee of $175, and overweight bags are assessed $125.
One of the biggest fees is for oversized checked luggage. This can be up to $175, even if your bag has only 25 pounds of clothing.
Most airlines are changing their check in policies to allow pre payment of checked baggage. They are giving you a break on the price if you pre pay online, usually lowering the price by $5 per bag. If you do not prepay on these select airlines you will be charged a surcharge at the time of check in at the ticket counter or kiosk.