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Briefs: UA/CO end bag discount; Delta debuts online luggage tracking

In recent U.S. airline news, United and Continental eliminated a price reduction for online bag check-in; Delta lets customers keep track of their checked bags through its website; JetBlue will introduce faster security access for some customers; and American seeks to increase capacity to Brazil.

• United and Continental have eliminated the discount they previously offered for prepaying checked-bag fees online. The two airlines had set checked bag fees of $23 for the first bag and $32 for the second if the customer paid online before setting out for the airport. But with the elimination of that price break, the checked bag fees will be $25 for the first and $35 for the second, whether they are paid in advance or not.

• To reassure customers about the status of their checked luggage, Delta has introduced a new feature through its website that permits real-time tracking of those bags. The feature works just like the familiar FedEx and UPS online tracking service, as long as the passenger types in his last name and the bag tag number or file reference number. The new feature is at https://www.delta.com/baggage/BaggageTrackStatus.action.

• JetBlue reportedly plans to introduce expedited access to airport security lines to passengers who ante up for premium seats. The airline is expected to roll out the fast-access option in a few months for purchasers of its “Even More Legroom” seats, which are available for a surcharge.

• American Airlines has asked the Department of Transportation for permission to add 10 more flights a week between the U.S. and Brazil. If it wins approval, it could start the extra flights as soon as December 2011, American said. American wants to boost Miami-Brasilia service from four flights a week to seven December 15; increase Miami-Belo Horizonte schedules from four a week to seven December 15; and introduce new Miami-Manaus service four times a week starting June 14, 2012.

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