updated 4/4/2008 7:35:33 PM ET 2008-04-04T23:35:33

Continental Airlines said Friday it will begin charging some passengers $25 to check a second bag in an effort to help offset rising fuel costs.

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The announcement comes after recent similar moves by United Airlines and Northwest Airlines. Delta Air Lines also said earlier this week that it would impose or raise a number of other fees citing fuel costs.

Continental said that customers who buy economy-class tickets with certain fare types, and are not elite members of the airline's frequent flier program, may check one bag at no charge, but will have to pay a $25 service fee to check a second one.

Continental said its premium travelers in economy class — including Elite OnePass members, SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus members, Continental Airlines Presidential Plus credit card holders and non-Elite customers who purchase certain fare types — may check two bags at no charge.

The policy will apply immediately to destinations within the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada for travel beginning on or after May 5.

There is no change in the checked bag policy for customers traveling in first class and BusinessFirst, the company said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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