Alaska Airlines has decided to increase fees for checked bags. It was only a matter of time before Alaska joined United, American, Delta and JetBlue in raising baggage fees. However, passengers were holding out hope that the airline would buck the trend and keep fees just where they are.
Alaska’s increased baggage fees will become effective on Dec. 5. That means that all tickets purchased or exchanged on or after that date are subject to the higher rates.
The airline will charge $30 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second. Passengers are currently charged $25 for both the first and second bag. The higher fees could turn off some of the cost-conscious travelers who were planning to purchase Alaska’s new basic economy fares when they go on sale in November.
Alaska’s decision to raise fees for checked bags comes just as the Seattle-based carrier is reporting higher-than-expected quarterly profits. Profits for the third quarter of 2018 totaled $217 million. That number topped the expectations of analysts. Alaska’s revenue for the third quarter totaled $2.21 billion. Of course, things haven’t exactly been rosy for Alaska Airlines this year. Alaska’s shares are down 17 percent from the start of 2018. Stock value has declined by 23 percent in the last 12 months.
Carriers across the country have been announcing that they would be increasing their baggage fees since the end of summer. JetBlue started the trend when it announced at the end of August that it would be increasing its fee for checked bags from $25 to $30. All of the other major carriers in the country quickly made similar announcements. That means that the days of $25 being the standard fee for a first checked bag are officially over.
There is one airline that has chosen not to go along with the trend of increasing baggage fees. Southwest currently stands as the odd man out when it comes to baggage fees. Southwest customers can currently travel with checked bags for no extra charge. What’s more, the popular budget carrier doesn’t have any plans to introduce new charges. Southwest has already announced that it plans to keep its policy of not charging for checked bags in place in the face of some industry-wide shifts.