- United Airlines became the second major US carrier to increase its fee for checked baggage on Friday, joining JetBlue in charging $US30 for a passenger’s first checked bag and $US40 for a second.
- The move by the Chicago-based carrier comes just a week after JetBlue raised its fees for checked baggage.
- “These changes allow us to continue investing in the overall customer experience in today’s marketplace,” United Airlines said in a statement to Business Insider.
- Many took to social media to complain about the change.
United Airlines became the second major US carrier to hike its fee for checked baggage in recent weeks, joining JetBlue Airways in charging$US30 for a passenger’s first checked bag and $US40 for a second checked bag.
United announced on Friday, on the eve of the Labour Day holiday weekend, that it will be increasing fees for checking a first bag from $US25 to $US30 and a second bag from $US35 to $US40 for tickets issued on or after August 31. The fees apply to flights to and from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
“As we continue to make investments that make travel on United better, we are making adjustments to our checked bag fees in select markets – most of which have not been changed for the past eight years,” a United Airlines spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. “These changes allow us to continue investing in the overall customer experience in today’s marketplace.”
United customers with MileagePlus Premier status or who purchase their ticket with a MileagePlus credit card will still receive complimentary checked luggage, the airline added.
The move by the Chicago-based carrier comes just a week after JetBlue raised its fees for checked baggage to new highs.
Delta Air Lines and American Airlines both charge $US25 for the first bag and $US35 for the second, while fees for the third piece of luggage vary. Southwest Airlines is the only large US airline that doesn’t charge for a passenger’s first two pieces of checked luggage.
In recent years, the airline industry has become increasingly reliant upon ancillary revenue generated by the unbundling of airfares.
Unbundling is the practice of charging for various services like baggage check, security check, seat assignments, meals, WiFi use, and early boarding outside of the posted ticket price. In short, it’s charging little fees for different elements of travel that were once rolled into the price of a ticket.
After the fee was announced on Friday, multiple users took to Twitter to share their displeasure with United’s latest price hike.
@united has increased its absurd baggage fees…a fee for something that has always been free but they charged for just to have an excuse for people to carry their branded credit cards and get a "benefit." What a rip off. No excuse- Fly @SouthwestAir for free bags AND friendly!
— Potato Tomato ???? (@PotatoPomadoro) September 2, 2018
With the news today of United matching JetBlue’s checked bag fee increase ($25 to $30), I’m all the more grateful I’ve made @SouthwestAir my family’s airline of choice. AD #tmom #SouthwestStorytellers pic.twitter.com/I7kPUq4Zma
— Leslie Harvey (@TripsWithTykes) August 31, 2018
United Airlines is raising their baggage fees – $30 from $25 for first bag, $40 from $35 for second – to invest in “the overall customer experience” @united
— Richard Bernabe (@bernabephoto) September 3, 2018
Seriously @united a bag fee increase? For those of us who check bags and board easily, you SHOULD be charging those who carry on and slow down the entire process or those who carry the bag to the gate and get to their bag at the gate for free. #unfair #baggageproblems
— Jane Coloccia (@jcjanec) September 4, 2018
Trying to book a flight and the best flight time is with United but I can’t bring myself to fly their airline b/c their terms are such crap. They charge $25 for overhead bin space PLUS $30 first checked bag. Guess I’ll fly SW in the evening and land late at night. :-/
— Laine Bell (@laineislaine) September 4, 2018
@united really grateful for the upgrades to customer experience that result from charging more for checked bags. Those upgrades are what exactly?
— Mueller Don’t Let Us Down (@shnarff) September 3, 2018
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