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Gary Kelly, Southwest CEO, Says 'Never Say Never' For Bag Fees

Jan 24, 2013 | Updated Jan 28, 2013

Southwest Airlines' CEO Gary Kelly spoke with CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday morning to discuss his company's 4th quarter earnings, and slipped in that while the company has no plans to add bag fees in 2013, he "never says never" on that policy. "The customers will tell us whether they would prefer to have extra fees or whether they would prefer to have everything bundled," he said.

For those keeping track, Southwest's earnings fell by nearly half on higher spending but its revenues rose slightly, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier this week, the airline announced that it would offer a $40 charge for passengers who wanted to be among the first 15 to board a flight. In December, the airline quietly announced that it would start charging for no-shows who purchased the cheapest "Wanna Get Away" fares sometime in 2013.

Southwest has regularly been considered amongst Americans' favorite airlines. (It came in third in SkyTrax's best low-cost American carrier survey in the summer of 2012.) Yet Kelly alluded to the ferocity of the competition in the airline landscape in his CNBC interview.

Unlike Southwest, its subsidiary AirTran announced new bag fees last December, including a $25 fee for the first checked bag (up from $20) and $35 for the second (up from $25,) the Associated Press reported. Thanks to AirTran's fees, Southwest collected $104.3 million in bag fees last year.

To listen to the interview, click over to CNBC.

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