I don't quite understand the reasoning behind this:
Under a plan announced Wednesday by, passengers already forced to pay extra for amenities like earphones, meals and even snacks will have to pay $15 to check a basic piece of baggage.
This seems almost designed to anger passengers. This is one more petty burden to bear for people who are already upset about what an increasing hassle flying has become. But it's really a small percentage of the overall cost of flying, and people are used to price fluctuations and generally, if grudgingly, accepting of the idea that the cost of most things will go up over time. If American had merely added that $15 to the ticket price, this would have all died down after a day. As it is, it's a much bigger story.
Yes, yes, I know. Luggage adds weight, which requires more fuel. But this doesn't really seem designed to address that issue -- how many people will really fly with less stuff, and how many will just try to cram more into their carry-on luggage? It would have been more effective to just decrease the maximum weight allowed for checked luggage before the extra fees kick in.