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Amtrak to Start Charging Fee for Excess Baggage on October 1, Helps Established Policies, Preserve Space on Crowded Trains

Oct 01, 2015 05:07 AM EDT | By Jean-Claude Arnobit
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Amtrak to Start Charging Fees for Excess Baggage on October 1, Helps Established Policies and Preserve Space on Crowded Trains
(Photo : Alex Wong | Getty Images News)

Amtrak has said on their website that they will be charging an extra fee for passengers who exceed their allotted carry-on bags beginning on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

The excess baggage fee will help the company in implementing its already established policies and preserve space on crowded trains.

Amtrak said in their website that they will be charging a $20 excess baggage fee for every carry-on or personal item that exceeds the quantity and size limit.

The company said that excess baggage fee will be collected on the station or onboard the train if the station is unstaffed.

The company currently allows a maximum of two personal items that should weigh no more than 25 pounds or about 11.3 kilograms each per passenger, according to their website.

Passengers are also a maximum of two carry-on bags that should not weigh more than 50 pounds or about 22.7 kilograms each per passenger.

The San Jose Mercury News adds that personal items can consist of things like a backpack, laptop, purse or other small bags.

Passengers who have children under the age of two with them are also allowed to bring an additional item like a stroller or diaper bag.

Airlines in the U.S. have started introducing fees for bags in 2008 and now charge a standard $25 for the first checked suitcase, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Those bag fees have earned the $1.6 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Marc Magliari, a spokesman from Amtrak, told the San Jose Mercury News that the new fee is not for the company to make more money.

"It is simply a space and safety initiative," he said.

The San Jose Mercury News adds that Magliari said the fee was aimed at a small percentage of Amtrak's 31 million passengers.

These are the passengers who usually exceed the limits of what they can bring onboard for free.

Amtrak said in their website that passengers can check two bags through to their final destination, free of charge if checked baggage is available. 

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