DALLAS -- For years, you couldn't watch an NFL game on Sunday afternoon without being reminded in commercials that on Southwest Airlines, bags fly free.
But the Wall Street Journal reports that Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told investors that the airline may be open to "a la carte" baggage fees.
Airline analyst Rick Seaney says charging bag fees, after making no fees a cornerstone of a marketing campaign for so long, could be tricky.
"It's kind of hard to roll this back in a way that consumers won't have this tremendous backlash," Seaney said. "I would suspect that if they do do it - and I'm not saying that they will - it'll be some sort of a soft landing in way where it's letting the business customers have checked bags and stuff like that, and it would only hit some of the people that shop Southwest in a limited way."
Southwest spokesperson Whitney Eichinger told WFAA in Dallas: "Any firm answer now to a question about what might happen years in the future would be foolish..." but, "we've recently stayed int he black during 40+ years of profitability by not nickel-and-diming customers."