In late August JetBlue raised many of their fees, including checked bag fees. Among other changes, they raised the cost of a first checked bag on a domestic itinerary from $25 to $30.
It’s interesting to see JetBlue be the first US airline to raise the cost of a checked bag from the standard $25, given that they’re otherwise not the most aggressive airline with fees. However, since they don’t have basic economy, I guess they figured they’d rather start by increasing fees in this way. Their stock isn’t doing well, so I imagine we’ll see a lot more fees from them in the coming months and years.
While the “big three” (American, Delta, and United) don’t typically follow JetBlue’s lead, I expected that they’d do so in this case. After all, when they’re not leading the race to the bottom, they’re following the race to the bottom.
Just a few days later United announced that they’d be following JetBlue’s lead, and would be raising the cost of checked bags for tickets booked as of August 31, 2018. Then just yesterday Delta announced that they’d match as well.
It was only a matter of time until American joined the club, and that has finally happened.
For tickets issued as of September 21, 2018, American is raising the cost of the first checked bag to $30, and the cost of the second checked bag to $40, which is up from $25 and $35, respectively. These new fees apply for tickets wholly within the US (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands), as well as flights between the US and Canada.
On the plus side, I commend American for at least putting out a press release about the changes, and for only instituting the new fees starting tomorrow, unlike Delta, which made the change effective immediately without any sort of an announcement.
American notes that this is the first time they’ve raised checked bag fees since 2010.
Boy, there’s so much innovation in the US airline industry… 😉