updated 2/26/2008 3:32:10 PM ET 2008-02-26T20:32:10

US Airways Group Inc. said Tuesday it will start charging fliers $25 to check in a second bag, the latest effort by the company to raise revenue and deal with rising costs.

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The new charge will begin May 5 for tickets bought after Tuesday, the company said.

The announcement follows a similar policy change disclosed early this month by United Airlines.

US Airways spokesman Morgan Durant said the baggage charge is expected to generate $75 million in revenue and cost savings each year. The carrier decided to add the charge as it looked for new ways to make money while dealing "with the operating reality that we have with $100 a barrel in oil," he said.

About 8 percent of US Airways customers check more than one bag, Durant said.

Under the new program, fliers will get one checked bag free plus their carry-on bags. US Airways already charged customers who checked between two and nine bags $80 per extra bag, and they are now boosting that charge to $100.

Those in the company's frequent flier programs who reach preferred status won't have to pay the fee, nor will those flying first class. The carrier also will waive the baggage charge for active military personnel, unaccompanied minors and customers checking assistive devices.

The airline earlier this month changed provisions of its frequent-flier program to award miles based on the actual mileage flown rather than a preset minimum as part of an effort to offset higher costs.

UAL Corp.'s United said it expected $100 million a year in new revenue and cost savings from the baggage charge. United said its research showed a quarter of its customers checked a second bag.

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