I just flew in from Las Vegas* last night and was thankful once again for Southwest Airlines, which has not charged a fee for check-in luggage during 2008 due to its set-rate oil prices. But that got me wondering ... since gas prices have plummeted, how are other airlines still charging for check-in luggage? Simple answer: The economy. It seems like you can blame almost everything negative in late 2008 on the economy ... or here in Houston, on Ike and the economy. Airlines are struggling, like most businesses, so most of them are still charging on average $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second checked bag. And you'd better believe that holiday passengers are not happy about this, especially if their luggage is lost and they are still charged the fee, like this Air Canada passenger. So while road travelers still rejoice at low gas prices, frequent fliers (except for Southwest junkies like myself) are still grumbling about the baggage fees. And it doesn't look like those fees are going to be cut anytime soon! So Happy New Year to all, and let's stay positive no matter what the economy looks like! *No, I wasn't hitting the slots in Vegas -- I was visiting relatives who live in Arizona! Lindsay Goodier, Online Editor, OilandGasInvestor.com