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It’s Official. Checked Bag Fees Are Going Up

It’s Official. Checked Bag Fees Are Going Up
Taylor Rains

United Airlines just upped its checked baggage fees, following JetBlue who increased its baggage rate in January. Starting next month, all United passengers on domestic flights and short-haul flights to the Caribbean and Latin America will be charged $35 for the first checked bag and $45 for the second (each way), a $5 markup from their current rates.

According to USA Today, the increased checked baggage fees only apply after a passenger has checked in, so if you prepay online before that, then the $30 and $40 rates still apply. The new prices will take effect on March 6th, but any person who booked a flight before February 21st and is traveling past the effective date will be exempt.

This is not the first time JetBlue has initiated a bag fee increase. In August 2018, the carrier upped its fee from $25 to $30, which was quickly matched by all three legacies, so Delta and American are expected to follow suit this time as well. Although JetBlue and the majors continue to increase their baggage prices, Southwest still remains the only U.S. carrier offering two checked bags for free.

View Comments (13)

13 Comments

  1. rylan

    February 25, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Not surprising… airlines are totally addicted to these junk garbage fees. Nothing that can justify raising the baggage fee except them wanting more profit.

  2. jamesteroh

    February 25, 2020 at 10:18 am

    I wish they would allow the kettles one checked bag and charge for a carry on. I like to carry on and would rather wait until the last minute to board ibut I have to board first or else the bins are filled up with people who don’t want to pay to check a bag that bring everything but the kitchen sing with them. Also holds up the security line with these people who get precheck and don’t have a TTN number. And on almost every full flight I’ve been on they ask for volunteers to check their bag for free anyway

  3. JAGorham

    February 25, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Makes me glad I have those affiliated credit cards that give the first bag free. Doesn’t take much to cover the card fee if the bag fees keep going up!

  4. MRM

    February 26, 2020 at 4:30 am

    Pure greed, Period. And with United you get the added bonus of having to be a high-end FF member or credit-card holder – and then even the credit-card holder gets to have the free bag, not the travelling party = even if the entire party’s tickets were purchased with said card.

    FYI: Saying “well, you don’t have to go if you don’t like it” is as stupid as saying “well if you don’t like paying to go to the bathroom in Europe, don’t go to the bathroom”.

  5. flyshooter

    February 26, 2020 at 6:31 am

    I’m not sure what you all are talking about. I fly with Southwest every week.

  6. jamesteroh

    February 26, 2020 at 11:41 am

    I guess if someone doesn’t like bag fees they can always fly southwest since they don’t have bag fees. Of course that’s not the only thing they don’t have. They also don’t have free C+ or first class upgrades for their frequent flyers (or any flyers), lounges, interlining, etc.

  7. BC Shelby

    February 26, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    …all the more to fly first class domestically as I travel with two medium sized bags to keep things light and that’s now 80$ added onto the already high premium coach fares. When you start adding in all those pesky fees, that cheap ticket isn’t all that “cheap” anymore.

    @ flyshooter

    Apologies, but I no longer am able wedge my tall stiff painful arthritic frame into a standard airline coach seat anymore and am not fond of SWA’s “cattle call” boarding procedure (particularly when having to make a connection as I often ended up in that accursed middle seat on the second leg) as well as not have the person in front of me pretty much sitting in my lap when they recline. I like to have a particular seat I want already “reserved” before I head to the airport . Bad enough I have to get to the airport early the way it is to deal with queues at the TSA checkpoints without having to get there even earlier to queue up to get a window seat near the front so I can deplane earlier (and not get stuck in that middle seat)

  8. azmojo

    February 26, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Sure Southwest doesn’t have bag fees, but if you compare, a lot of times their fares are ~$30 higher than the other carriers, so it doesn’t matter much each way.

  9. snidely

    February 26, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Southwest now has among the highest fares. Costs more to take them from OAK-SAN (1.4 hrs) than Jet Blue fm, SFO-FLL (5.5 hrs)

  10. Gig103

    February 27, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Bag fees were introduced at $25 in 2008. It took a decade to go up the first $5, and two years to jump the next $5. I agree with the others, it’s greed.

  11. DarF2001

    March 1, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    It’s because of the tax structure. Fees don’t attract the same taxes as fares. In a perfect world, a compromise would be reached to lower fare taxes and increase fee taxes to get rid of them. But in today’s political climate, taxes will be imposed according to the airline CEO preferences (hiding them in fares and nailing people with hidden fees), and always increasing to feed both parties greed.

  12. CEB

    March 3, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Wsah, wah, wah. Always plenty of whining about greedy airlines and unjustified fees, and all. What about the greedy pax who want the cheapest fares, no fees and first class for their pets at no charge?

    Sorry, but I get sorely irritated by all the whining about corporate greed when the greed is actually far more prevalent on the customer side of the ledger. I sell no products and do not work in a corporate environment, but does anyone really think that everything in life is or should be free? Hogwash.

    If you think the legacy airlines re the problem, then fly Ryan Air or Frontier and add up all the fees for the services that do happen to be included with the legacy airlines. 90% + of the time the LCC fare with all the fees ends up the same or more than the legacy fares.

    So put the responsibility where it belongs, squarely on the customer’s shoulders. The airlines are simply responding to the market demands and expectations.

  13. MRM

    March 4, 2020 at 4:39 am

    CEB: Talk about rambling…and it still comes back to blaming customers. Nice contribution.

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