We like the new baggage icon at Fly.com, an aggregator website that compares airfares and itineraries from hundreds of airline and travel websites around the world. Click on the little suitcase next to the airfare for your itinerary and you'll get a window showing the checked baggage fees charged by that airline, giving you a better idea of the full price.
I just tried it out and found it to be neat and simple. I sampled an itinerary of nonstop flights between JFK and LAX. Among the many different fares available were two from Delta and Virgin America, both for $341 round trip. But when I clicked the baggage icon, I found that Delta would charge me up to $60 for two checked bags while Virgin America would charge me $50. I would have saved 10 bucks by choosing the VA flights (or saved $20 by dragging Mrs. Mark along for the ride).
But then, this doesn't affect me much since I rarely check luggage. I almost always fly with carry-ons. Even so, in this case I probably would have chosen the Virgin America flight. There's just something oh-so-groovy about their in-cabin mood lighting.
Smart Traveler Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure.