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Phoenix Sky Harbor ending early bag check service this month

(Chris Urso/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

PHOENIX — A service that allowed fliers to check bags at various transportation areas around Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will end this month.

The airport said it decided to end the five-year-old program on Nov. 30 — days after the busy Thanksgiving travel holiday — because of both rising costs and a lack of demand.

The free service allowed travelers to check their bags at the Rental Car Center, PHX SkyTrain station and East Economy parking lot. Regular airline baggage fees were charged.

Sky Harbor spokeswoman Heather Lissner said early bag check cost about $1.1 million annually to run, which was shared between the airport and airlines.

Each bag checked through the service cost about $5.60 to transport to the aircraft, compared with $1.40 for those checked at ticketing counters.

Just 2 percent of the all the bags checked at the airport go through the service, down 9 percent from 2016.

The drop was largely caused by Southwest Airlines changing its reservation system, which prevented customers from checking bags remotely.

Lissner said the only way the service would continue is if the airport charged fliers to use it.

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