A few days ago I wrote about how 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.
United Airlines has announced today that they’ll be raising the cost of checked bags for tickets booked as of August 31, 2018. I guess it’s not a surprise that they’re announcing this on the Friday before a long weekend, where it will get the least negative press.
United is increasing the cost of checked bags for flights to/from North America, the Caribbean, and Central America. The details are as follows:
- First checked bag fees are increasing to $30
- Second checked bag fees within the US, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Caribbean, and Central America are increasing to $40
- Second checked bags on flights to/from Canada will be $50
Perhaps the most ridiculous part of all of this is what United is telling employees to communicate to customers when they ask why baggage fees are going up:
“We just announced new baggage fees on August 31. This is actually the first time in eight years we are making an adjustment to some of our checked bag fees. Our hope is to reinvest in a more enjoyable and caring flight experience for you and all of our customers.
If you are concerned or have questions about a bag fee you have been charged, I can help confirm if the fee is correct.”
No, this isn’t just what United’s PR team is announcing, but this is what United is telling frontline agents to tell customers.
I really don’t understand airline executives. Does the person who wrote that script really think one — yes, even just a single — employee is going to say that?
“What, I thought checked bags are $25 and not $30?”
“No, it’s now $30. Our hope is to reinvest in a more enjoyable and caring inflight experience for you and all of our customers.”
Now it’s only a matter of time until American and Delta follow…
Are you surprised to see United raise checked bag fees?
(Tip of the hat to @BrianSumers)