The increase follows similar hikes by United Airlines and JetBlue, both of which have raised their baggage rates within the last month. This means that customers will pay $30 for their first checked item and $40 for their second. It is believed that a rise in operational costs is behind this hike.
Delta Air Lines has increased its fees for domestic bags by $5, meaning its customers will now pay $30 for their first checked piece of luggage, Seeking Alpha reports. The cost of checking a second piece of luggage has also increased by $5 and now incurs a $40 fee. These fees are applicable for those traveling in the main cabin on the airline’s domestic routes.
These recent increases bring the carrier’s checked luggage fees in-line with those levied by United Airlines and JetBue, both of which have raised their baggage fees within the last month. CNN Money reports that American Airlines (AA) has “declined to comment if it will follow” suit, but Seeking Alpha has stated that passengers of Southwest Airlines will still be able to check two items free of charge.
Rising operational costs are being given as the impetus for these sudden hikes in baggage fees; in addition to rising fuel prices, many carriers are having to increase salaries and benefits for their staff. CNN Money reports that both American and Delta have had to revise their financial forecast for the year and so carriers are attempting to effectively recoup these losses through ancillary fees, such as those collected for checked baggage.
Based on statistics from the Bureau of Transportation statistics, Delta earned $375 million through luggage fees alone during the first half of 2018, a figure that is reportedly a 15 percent drop from the same period of 2017.
A spokesperson for Delta spoke to CNN Money to confirm the increase in fees and added that the carrier “routinely makes fee adjustments.”