American Airlines, subsidiary of the AMR corporation (NYSE: AMR), will start enforcing a controversial new policy on September 1, 2010. The new policy, called "Babies Off Board" requires that parents check infants under age 4 as articles of luggage.
"The luggage compartment of the plane will be pressurized and oxygenated, to ensure the cargo's survival," wrote the airline in a press release. "Similar to the area where cats and dogs travel, the baby section will be safe and comfortable."
Whereas it costs $15 to check a regular suitcase on American Airlines, it will cost $40 to check an infant, $50 to check a middle-aged baby, and $60 to check a toddler. Parents are also welcome and encouraged to check children between the ages of 4 and 10, but it will cost $90 to do so.
When asked whether adults were permitted to check themselves as baggage, to save money, the representative from American Airlines rolled her eyes. "No adult would ever want to be cooped up with all those babies." She flipped her teal-dyed hair. "And even if one did, we have a policy--no baggage without a passenger to claim it."
Child welfare groups are organizing boycotts of American Airlines. However, US Airways, United, Continental, Southwest, and Lufthansa are all reportedly soon to follow American's lead on this policy.