United Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees

United Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees

23

United Airlines is following in American Airlines’ footsteps, and is increasing checked bag fees. That’s hardly surprising at this point.

United Airlines raises checked bag fees by $5

For tickets booked as of February 24, 2024, United Airlines has raised its checked bag fees. While United doesn’t publish a baggage fee chart, the airline has a bag fee calculator, which should shortly reflect the new pricing. With this change, United Airlines now charges the following on domestic itineraries:

  • $35 for a first checked bag if paid in advance, or $40 if paid at the airport
  • $45 for a second checked bag if paid in advance, or $50 if paid at the airport

This represents a $5 increase across the board, as previously you paid $30-35 for a first checked bag, or $40-45 for a second checked bag. We’re seeing similar $5 increases to many other checked bag fees for short haul international flights.

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

  • Those with select co-branded United Airlines credit cards receive a free first checked bag for domestic itineraries
  • Those with MileagePlus Premier 1K and Premier Platinum status receive three free checked bags
  • Those with MileagePlus Gold Platinum status (as well as Star Alliance Gold equivalents) receive two free checked bags
  • Those with MileagePlus Premier status receive one free checked bag
United has increased checked bag fees

This change isn’t surprising or unreasonable

I’m not surprised to see that United is matching American here (and for that matter, Alaska and JetBlue also raised checked bag fees earlier this month). Ultimately we’re seeing a $5 increase, and this is the first time checked bag fees have been raised at the airline in around four years. For better or worse, that roughly tracks with inflation.

American recently made a similar change

Bottom line

United Airlines has just increased checked bag fees. We’re seeing United raise the cost per checked bag by $5, so domestically you’ll now pay $35-40 for a first checked bag, or $45-50 for a second checked bag.

I’m not surprised to see airlines trying to find new revenue sources, given how much their expenses have increased in the past couple of years. I imagine it’s only a matter of time until Delta matches as well.

What do you make of United increasing checked bag fees?

Conversations (23)
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  1. InternationalTraveler Gold

    I am a holder of the United Quest credit card, which provides two free checked bags for two travelers on the same reservation.

    The free second bag for the second traveler is consistently not honored during OLCI or check-in kiosk. Two bags are listed with $0 bag fees in the booking confirmation. However, there seems to be an IT issues transferring it to check in. A supervisor can waive the fee and see, to...

    I am a holder of the United Quest credit card, which provides two free checked bags for two travelers on the same reservation.

    The free second bag for the second traveler is consistently not honored during OLCI or check-in kiosk. Two bags are listed with $0 bag fees in the booking confirmation. However, there seems to be an IT issues transferring it to check in. A supervisor can waive the fee and see, to be familiar with the issue. It’s a significant hassle though to track down a supervisor at check-in and takes additional time.

  2. baflyer2 Guest

    Star Alliance Golds only receive one free checked bag on United flights (the text in this article suggests that they are considered MileagePlus Premier Platinum equivalents — Star Golds are not equivalents, at least for baggage fee waiver purposes)

  3. dwondermeant Guest

    monkey see monkey do still alive in 2024
    Airlines suck

  4. Tim Dunn Diamond

    so will UA use the proceeds to 1. bail out Mesa since they have been informed that they violate NASDAQ listing requirements because they haven't filed financial statements or 2. to buy up extra A321NEO slots which Airbus won't be providing just because they are good guys or 3. build terminals to accommodate their NEXT growth plan or 4. all of the above and more.

    1. DesertGhost Guest

      Tim,
      What will your response be if the world's only PERFECT airline matches the increases?

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Max,
      when you stop crapping on everything I write about Delta, I'll be sure to return the favor.

      If Delta matches, it will be for profit sharing. They don't have sinking regional airlines, growth plans that their suppliers can't support or FAs that are STILL waiting for pay raises.

    3. Stefan Guest

      Not sure what you guys are arguing about. All U.S. airlines suck, complete garbage.

  5. Eric Guest

    It's still surprising to me that United is the only one of the big 3 where you have to book with the credit card in order to get the free checked bag.

    I typically have a United itinerary every summer that has to be booked by the travel agent of the people I'm working for. No way to avoid the checked bag fee.

    1. tony xu Guest

      Expense the bag fee. If the people you work for don’t approve it, send them a picture of your posterior and tell them to kiss it.

    2. walester Member

      Yes, that one caught me by surprise recently. I booked award travel on United with points from a partner airline and mistakenly paid the small fee ($11+) using the default credit card for that airline, not United. I was surprised to learn I would need to pay for my checked bag. So, I chalked it up to a learning experience, and yesterday, I paid in advance for my checked bag using my United card - $30. So, I cheated them out of $5 by one day!

    3. Daniel B. Guest

      With United I had a similar but interesting experience:
      Booked a ticket using my default Ink Preferred card (has the United personal card but did not use it). During the booking process it showed that the first checked bag is free. While the ticket was pending, it still showed the same (first bag: $0). However, when the ticket finally got issued, it showed the $30 bag fee. So I cancelled the ticket within a...

      With United I had a similar but interesting experience:
      Booked a ticket using my default Ink Preferred card (has the United personal card but did not use it). During the booking process it showed that the first checked bag is free. While the ticket was pending, it still showed the same (first bag: $0). However, when the ticket finally got issued, it showed the $30 bag fee. So I cancelled the ticket within a few minutes and rebooked it using my United card in order to get the first bag free benefit.

  6. Eskimo Guest

    Blocking JetBlue and Spirit while still letting the cartel collude. This is like extra $5 free money per bag to every airline.

    Why not break apart all the carriers, and regulate the carriers.
    Let's undo 1978 using the same reason that blocked JetBlue and Spirit.

    1. David Guest

      Great idea Eskimo. A simple google search showed that a $300 airline ticket in 1978 is worth $1481 in 2024 dollars.

      I remember working as a college student in 1981 washing dishes so I could afford the $314 airline ticket for spring break in FL. I flew Eastern from DTW-MLB. And I remember when I paid for my ticket I was nervous spending that much on a plane ticket.

      So yeah let's end deregulation and only rich people can travel.

    2. Stefan Guest

      Well, David, maybe spending $314 in 1981 to holiday in Florida as a broke college student wasn't a very wise financial decision. Hopefully you got a bit smarter down the line.

    3. David Guest

      Actually in retrospect it was. I stayed with relatives so no cost other than the plane ticket. Since both my aunt and uncle died within 3 years of that trip, I got a chance to spend time with them which I never would have had. Not everything can be measured in dollars and cents.

  7. Ann Guest

    OK. Now let's cut corporate OPM earnings like AA did.

  8. AdamH Guest

    I do wonder at what point there will be legislation demanding the unbundling of CC perks with the actual CC. I realize there is still revenue to the airlines for spend and other stuff on top of the annual fee but it seems crazy that someone who doesn’t have good credit (or is a foreigner, etc) can’t get the perks for just an annual subscription. I’m not clamoring for more subscriptions but if you have...

    I do wonder at what point there will be legislation demanding the unbundling of CC perks with the actual CC. I realize there is still revenue to the airlines for spend and other stuff on top of the annual fee but it seems crazy that someone who doesn’t have good credit (or is a foreigner, etc) can’t get the perks for just an annual subscription. I’m not clamoring for more subscriptions but if you have more than two round trips and need to check bags the cards pay for themselves.

    1. Huntsville flyer Guest

      If you have a new credit card from Chase/United, you have 90 days free check in for one bag even though you used different color like a Amex

  9. Dolla bills Guest

    Pilot raises gotta come from somewhere!

  10. Manny Guest

    No collusion, just coincidentally all airlines raising checked bag fees.

    1. AD Diamond

      It's neither. Price matching using public information -- my competitor raised prices and I can SEE that in the public market is perfectly legal. It's not collusion and it's not an accident. Companies sometimes match prices (going up and going down) and sometimes don't. It depends on where they see incremental profit for the increased cost or a competitive advantage to drive more volume at the lower cost.

      None of that is illegal.

    2. Timtamtrak Member

      Agreed, it’s not collusion if done in the open. Just the open market dictating pricing. I’m not a fan of the increases, but most of my travel is for work and if I need to check extra bags over the one I get free, I just expense it. Unfortunately this just passes the cost on to MY company and reducing our own profits, $5 at a time.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

MaxPower Diamond

You need a life ;)

2
tony xu Guest

Expense the bag fee. If the people you work for don’t approve it, send them a picture of your posterior and tell them to kiss it.

2
AdamH Guest

I do wonder at what point there will be legislation demanding the unbundling of CC perks with the actual CC. I realize there is still revenue to the airlines for spend and other stuff on top of the annual fee but it seems crazy that someone who doesn’t have good credit (or is a foreigner, etc) can’t get the perks for just an annual subscription. I’m not clamoring for more subscriptions but if you have more than two round trips and need to check bags the cards pay for themselves.

2
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