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American Airlines raises fees for checked bags

FORT WORTH, Texas – It’s going to cost you more to check bags on an American Airlines flight.

American said Friday that checking the first bag will cost $20, up from $15, and a second bag will cost $30, up from $25.

The change takes effect on tickets bought after Aug. 13 for travel within the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on American and its regional affiliate, American Eagle.

Elite members of American’s frequent-flier program continue to be exempt from the bag fees, as are passengers in business- and first-class seats and those who paid full fare for coach seats. There are no bag fees for international itineraries except Canada.

United, Delta, Continental and US Airways recently announced $5 increases in checked-bag fees, to $20 for the first and $30 for the second.

Fees on checking baggage and other services can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year at major airlines, which are struggling with falling revenue due to a slump in traffic. This week, American parent AMR Corp. reported a $390 million loss for the second quarter.

Mortgage rates rise after falling for three weeks

WASHINGTON – Rates for 30-year mortgages have edged up after falling for three consecutive weeks.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage this week was 5.2 percent, up from 5.14 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said.

Rates on 30-year mortgages fell to a record low of 4.78 percent earlier this year, but then rose to nearly 5.6 percent last month after yields on long-term government debt, which are closely tied to mortgage rates, climbed.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.68 percent, up from 4.63 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.74 percent, down from 4.83 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages edged up to 4.77 percent from 4.76 percent.

Alabama liquor agency says no to nude nymph

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A wine label showing a nude nymph is too racy for Alabama’s liquor control agency, which has told restaurants and stores not to sell the product.

The label on Cycles Gladiator wine, produced by Hahn Family Wines in Soledad, Calif., shows a vintage 1895 bicycle advertising poster with a nude nymph flying beside a winged bicycle.

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board recently sent a letter to stores and restaurants telling them not to sell the wine because the label had been rejected by the agency. Alabama liquor regulations prohibit labels that are offensive or immodest.

Hahn Family Wines President Bill Leigon said the wine has been sold nationwide without any complaints until now.