Alaska Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees

Alaska Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees

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Alaska Airlines has just revealed that it will be raising checked bag fees as of early 2024, and this has the potential to catch on at other airlines as well.

Alaska Airlines raises checked bag fees to $35+

Alaska Airlines has updated its baggage page to reflect new fees for tickets purchased as of January 2, 2024. The airline will be raising the cost of checked bags, as follows:

  • Through January 1, 2024, a first checked bag will cost $30, a second checked bag will cost $40, and additional checked bags will cost $150
  • As of January 2, 2024, a first checked bag will cost $35, a second checked bag will cost $45, and additional checked bags will cost $150

As you can see, this represents a $5 increase in the fee for the first and second checked bag. The airline last increased the cost of checked bags in late 2018. Up until then, the first and second checked bag both cost $25, so that represented an increase of $5-15.

As before, many passengers are entitled to free checked bags. In addition to first class passengers:

At least checking bags with Alaska Airlines is usually a pleasant experience, thanks to the carrier’s 20-minute baggage guarantee.

Alaska Airlines is increasing checked bag fees

Will other airlines follow Alaska Airlines’ lead?

The major US airlines tend to follow one another. Interestingly all of the major US carriers (minus Southwest) increased their checked bag fees back in 2018. At the time, Alaska was the last of the major carriers to increase fees.

In early 2020, we did see United and JetBlue increase checked bag fees, but only if you don’t prepay online.

In this case, Alaska is leading the way with increasing fees with no strings attached. I imagine during the early stages of the pandemic, airlines didn’t feel like they were in a position to raise checked bag fees more consistently. However, with demand starting to once again normalize, I have to imagine that Alaska won’t be the only airline to make such a change. I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar announcements from other airlines in the coming days and weeks.

I suspect other airlines will follow Alaska’s lead

Bottom line

As of early 2024, Alaska Airlines will be increasing checked bag fees. The cost of a first checked bag will increase to $35 (from $30), while the cost of a second checked bag will increase to $40 (from $35). Since it has been five years since the major US carriers raised checked bag fee, and given how much inflation there has been, I suspect other airlines will take advantage of this opportunity as well.

What do you make of Alaska increasing checked bag fees, and do you think other airlines will follow?

Conversations (20)
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  1. Ellen Malawka Guest

    I fly Alaska Air twice a year to Washington.I chi my bag because I have a problem lifting my bag up into the overhead. When waiting to board the plane, many times they will make an announcement that due to a full flight you can chk your bag for no charge.Not fair to the people who already paid the fee and now going to cost more Maybe next time I won't chk my bag and walt for the announcement.

    1. Mike C Diamond

      If that were the reason I was checking my bag I'd still check it. Hefting a bag through security and to the gate, and complying with carry on rules is a pain, so even if they did make the announcement I'd think it was worth the fee to avoid that. Also I wouldn't want to be stuck with the problem of lifting the bag into the overhead bin if they didn't make that announcement.

  2. Jordan Diamond

    There is only ONE US carrier. Wall Street Airlines. ONE BOSS!

  3. Lee Guest

    Is the percentage change divided by the number of years since the last change less than or greater than the rate of inflation during the same period?

    1. AG Guest

      I did check and it's tracking with inflation pretty well

  4. iamhere Guest

    Soon we will see other airlines raise their incidental fees. Such fees are now quite common for legacy American and European carriers, at least. What I do not think we will see is the credit cards that offer airline credits giving more money toward that.

  5. Brodie Guest

    Shame with Alaskan baggage is that they cap first class at 50lbs per bag. It's $100 for 51-70lbs!

    1. Ryan Guest

      Ugh. This is my biggest gripe with Alaska and why I don’t fly them. They need to allow F pax and Elites 70lbs.

      I have also had to fight with the about a 70lb bag when a connecting to international Business Class on OW partners (AA, QR) which is allowed/required by AS’s own policy and IATA most significant carrier rules. Very very annoying

  6. Deb Guest

    Yes, if you use Alaska Visa card it will take off the baggage fee. You get another free checked bag if you have Club 49 (live in Alaska).

  7. Robert Herrington Guest

    I have an Alaska Visa card but booked a flight with my Chase Sapphire card. If I use my Alaska card when I check my bags, will it take the fee off?

    1. canuck_in_ca Guest

      "Free checked bag for any cardholder who purchases airfare with their card" so no.

  8. JustaOreo New Member

    .....and Alaska residents who are Club 49 members traveling to and from Alaska.

    1. Luke Sneeringer New Member

      I hadn't thought about Club 49 recently, but being an AK resident. They're going to need to make a Club 50...

    2. Luke Sneeringer New Member

      * not being

  9. IrishAlan Diamond

    While there are many things I dislike about F9 and NK, something they have right is charging more for a carry-on than a checked bag. It would make so much more sense for timely departures and overhead space to give everybody a free checked bag and charge for a carry-on that needs to go overhead. I’d love to see a mainline carrier move to this. It would likely increase their revenue too given that people wouldn’t want the inconvenience of checking a bag.

    1. dn10 Guest

      Is the reason they don't do this so below the plane has more space to sell cargo?

  10. Rico Gold

    Also, Alaska credit card holders...
    "Airfare must be purchased with your card to qualify for this benefit. "

  11. Emory Guest

    Don't MVPs get two free checked bags?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Emory -- You're correct, AND fast! Thank you. post updated. :-)

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DC Guest

Gotta pay for Hawaiian somehow!

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IrishAlan Diamond

While there are many things I dislike about F9 and NK, something they have right is charging more for a carry-on than a checked bag. It would make so much more sense for timely departures and overhead space to give everybody a free checked bag and charge for a carry-on that needs to go overhead. I’d love to see a mainline carrier move to this. It would likely increase their revenue too given that people wouldn’t want the inconvenience of checking a bag.

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Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Emory -- You're correct, AND fast! Thank you. post updated. :-)

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