United announces $25 charge for second checked bag!

United announced on Monday that they would start charging non-elite, non-full fare passengers $25 to check a second piece of luggage, effective May 5. Now of course my initial reaction, probably much like everyone else, was that United is turning into an LCC and this is awful news. United keeps touting that they’re a “premium airline” and that they want to be at the point where they can charge extra and still keep passengers loyal. Of course this does nothing to help the case, although I’d argue many things, like Ted, no Economy Plus for full fare non-elite passengers, etc, keep UA from being a “premium airline.”

 That being said, I decided to take a different approach than most others, and it’s not because I’m exempt from this rule as a 1K or because I rarely check luggage. We all know that the US airline industry isn’t the most profitable, so obviously they have to find ways to increase profit/revenue or at least cut costs. With record fuel prices, most of which the airlines have to absorb due to competition, they have to get more and more creative with ways to nickel and dime the passengers. Ultimately, while I don’t like this change, I do prefer it over raising fares $10, for example, or getting rid of certain elite benefits. Of course I’m not sure whether United is even certain that they want to do this. Much like everything else in the industry I’m convinced most other legacy carriers will either follow almost immediately, or otherwise United will be forced to get rid of this fee. Otherwise we all know we’ll soon be seeing ads from American saying “With us, you can check two bags for free,” and the rest would be history…

 Only time will tell, but I’m not quite taking the grim view that others are taking, at least for now.


  1. I am still looking through my physics books and the US Constitution for any references to a law that would give airline passengers the right to cram two bags full of stuff and have them transported with them on an airplane for free 😉

  2. 2015…and now we have airlines charging for carry-ons as well as ALL checked luggage and lowered the weight limit at the same time… and not cheaply either. Still feel that United’s move was the right move?

    I personally wish they’d just increase the ticket prices, allow 2x checked per person and be done with it. Boarding times would improve substantially. From the looks of things, United could use every ounce of help they could get in launching their birds on time.

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