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United Checked Baggage Fees Increase to $25/$35 (Effective 1/14/2010)

United Checked Baggage Fees Increase to $25/$35 (Effective 1/14/2010)

 
Old Jan 11, 10, 10:00 pm
  #1  
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United Checked Baggage Fees Increase to $25/$35 (Effective 1/14/2010)

As a happy New Year to Delta's non-exempt passengers, the company raised checked bag fees to $25 ($23 online) for the first bag and $35 ($32 online) for the second bag for travel in the 50 States, Canada, PR and US VI. Like a lemming, Continental followed suit. American has not raised its fees, but I predict it will happen this week. AA loves fees.

So how long do we give United till it joins the lemming crowd?

*UPDATE*

UA followed the crowd and raised baggage fees on Wed., 01/13/10.

First bag $25 (online $23), second bag $35 (online $32).

Info here: http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6867,52481,00.html

Last edited by CApreppie; Jan 13, 10 at 9:04 pm Reason: Updated information
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Old Jan 11, 10, 10:16 pm
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Originally Posted by CApreppie View Post
As a happy New Year to Delta's non-exempt passengers, the company raised first checked bag fees to $25 ($23 online) for the first bag and $35 ($32 online) for the second bag for travel in the 50 States, Canada, PR and US VI. Like a lemming, Continental followed suit. American has not raised its fees, but I predict it will happen this week. AA loves fees.

So how long do we give United till it joins the lemming crowd?
Whoa, that's really getting up there. I figure if everyone else is doing it, United will surely follow. Especially since Continental is doing it.

However, if they want to set a trend, they need to enable customers to pay for bags and any other extras (BoB, RCC access) online while purchasing tickets. AC has done this for years and I think its a good feature.
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Old Jan 11, 10, 10:16 pm
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I wouldn't be shocked if UA matched within the week.
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Old Jan 11, 10, 10:19 pm
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Agree. I think we'll see UA and AA match by Thursday this week if not earlier.
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Old Jan 11, 10, 10:27 pm
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Old Jan 12, 10, 12:07 am
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They're doing it to make WN's commercials and signage obsolete and make them spend money. Imagine reprinting/reimaging all that to replace the $100 with $120...
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Old Jan 12, 10, 12:53 am
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
They're doing it to make WN's commercials and signage obsolete and make them spend money. Imagine reprinting/reimaging all that to replace the $100 with $120...
If the a la carte model really took off, they could make WN itself obsolete as a low-fare carrier. If the legacy carriers derive enough $$$ from baggage and other fees, they can compete more fiercely on the base fare... traditional WN's domain.
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Old Jan 12, 10, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
If the a la carte model really took off, they could make WN itself obsolete as a low-fare carrier. If the legacy carriers derive enough $$$ from baggage and other fees, they can compete more fiercely on the base fare... traditional WN's domain.
I think WN would start instituting a la carte options before they let that happen.

To answer the OP, yes, I do think UA will match. I'm reasonably sure the vast majority of consumers don't compare the baggage fees between airlines when they book, so there's little reason for UA not to match the highest fees.
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Old Jan 12, 10, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by goldfishman View Post
To answer the OP, yes, I do think UA will match. I'm reasonably sure the vast majority of consumers don't compare the baggage fees between airlines when they book, so there's little reason for UA not to match the highest fees.
+1. I think the value is in not having bag fees at all vs. others with bag fees - this is something very easy to convey in advertising. Unless (until?) the bag fees are exorbitant, not many people will care very much that some airlines charge $5 more or less than others.
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Old Jan 12, 10, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by CApreppie View Post
Agree. I think we'll see UA and AA match by Thursday this week if not earlier.
+1
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Old Jan 12, 10, 3:17 pm
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It's nice to be an elite and see this. It certainly helps to avoid these nickle and dimes that other airlines are beginning to impose. However, when you spend thousands, hundreds of thousands, and millions on tickets the least they could do is let you check a bag for free.

I know I am a lowly 2P but already having 14EQS in the bank this year, I will never ever be able to go back to being a GM. Whether it be elite security, priority boarding, free bags, and E+ it makes it all worth it.

I was on CNN earlier reading the responses people are making about Southwest. There are things Southwest will not do that other airlines do. Also, SWA isn't always cheapest. I'll fly United and have them book me on another airline if I can't get out. SWA, will not book you on another airline. Also, earning miles flying over the pond is nice and easy, which SWA cannot do as they only fly domestic. Being able to book a window seat is nice, which I don't know how to do on SWA, but I know it involves checking in 24 hours before departure.

All in all, UA will match this as any company should do. I'm really having a tough time understanding peoples arguements on why airlines will be suffering becuase of this move and losing "tons" of passengers. Not quite! The elite passengers do not pay baggage fee's, therefore, this is only impacting the traveler who flies 2-3 times/yr. So, I do not necessarily agree with that arguement that they will be losing a ton of business. The elites will still fly and still pay the bill! It pays to stay with one carrier and those elites do and that's where UA makes a lot of their $. Oh yeah, for the person that has to pay 2-3 times per year, they'll buck up and pay it anyways as UA will be more competitive on the fare.

Thoughts? I know, very bold, but that's my $.02 cents!
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Old Jan 12, 10, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by ORDUnitedMetal View Post
I'm really having a tough time understanding peoples arguements on why airlines will be suffering becuase of this move and losing "tons" of passengers. Not quite! The elite passengers do not pay baggage fee's, therefore, this is only impacting the traveler who flies 2-3 times/yr.
On a premium, yield basis elite's provide a huge chunk of business, but kettles are still a huge (probably the single most) portion of the business. Do the math and you'll see that those 2-3 times they travel on legacy carriers is going to whittle down to 1, then none as the sting from showing up to the airport and being slapped with punishment fees will cause kettles to look to WN and B6. Humans are creatures of habit and will not put up with it for long.

The issue here, and this is HUGE: There is no pricing parity in our market today. Southwest will save a two-bag-toting Kettle $120 round-trip, but they don't know that when they are booking through online websites. I am waiting to see if online travel agencies and airlines are forced to show the TOTAL cost of the trip at the time of booking. The bag fees would be eliminated almost overnight. This (*) disclosure stuff is enough to drive anyone insane.
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Old Jan 12, 10, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by denCSA View Post
The issue here, and this is HUGE: There is no pricing parity in our market today. Southwest will save a two-bag-toting Kettle $120 round-trip, but they don't know that when they are booking through online websites. I am waiting to see if online travel agencies and airlines are forced to show the TOTAL cost of the trip at the time of booking. The bag fees would be eliminated almost overnight. This (*) disclosure stuff is enough to drive anyone insane.
I've seen on Orbitz that they do in fact have have a notice once you select a flight that the carrier charges for bags. Its not in the price grid thing but it is there 2 screens before you actually purchase.
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Old Jan 13, 10, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by goldfishman View Post
I'm reasonably sure the vast majority of consumers don't compare the baggage fees between airlines when they book, so there's little reason for UA not to match the highest fees.
Nonsense. One of the most commonly used fare search web sites, Kayak.com, has a link from the search results to a page showing all airlines' baggage (and other) fees. There is even a feature to select how many bags you plan to check, and have the fees automatically added to the fares, so you can compare on that basis. I don't know about other fare search sites, but I'd be surprised of they didn't have similar functionality - if they don't, they will soon.

With baggage fees getting exorbitant (Kayak told me $80 for 2 bags round trip on United for a recent search, which could be 10 to 20% of the ticket price), I think more and more people will be taking this into consideration when deciding which airline to fly.
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Old Jan 13, 10, 10:02 am
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Looks like they just mtched. $23 for the first bag, $32 for the second
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