ATLANTA - When airlines started charging some passengers $15 or more earlier this year to check their bags, they blamed soaring fuel costs. Since then, oil has plummeted. Yet the industry hasn't stowed away the bag fees.

Many of us are still paying to fly with a suitcase that doesn't squeeze into the overhead bin.

The reason is simple: Airlines are still losing money, though now largely because of the recession instead of oil.

And don't expect the fee to disappear even when the economy rebounds. Airlines are finding the fees to be a reliable source of revenue and say that such charges allow passengers to choose only the services they want.

Passengers, meanwhile, are paying up and grumbling. Many are being socked, on average, $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second. *

-Associated Press