United Airlines Increases Checked Baggage Fees, Following American Airlines and JetBlue

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United Airlines has started the new year by making a lot of changes; be it in its fleet, services or baggage fees. A new aircraft joined the United Airlines fleet as the New Year began. The airline welcomed its third Airbus A321neo in January. Additionally, the airline is updating airport lobby signages to further enhance passenger experience. However, United flyers might feel a bit disappointed with the latest update. United Airlines has now joined the list of US airlines increasing checked baggage fees in 2024. Following the recent increases by American Airlines and JetBlue, United Airlines checked baggage fees have also gone up.

The recent surge in checked baggage fees is part of an ongoing shift in the US airline industry. Traditionally, charging passengers for baggage was an unconventional practice. However, the trajectory changed when ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines pioneered the concept, citing efficiency reasons. The evolution of this trend has contributed significantly to ancillary revenues, with airlines in USA collecting $6.8 billion in checked baggage fees in 2022 alone.

Also Read: Artificial Intelligence in Baggage Handling to Make Operations Even More Efficient

United Airlines Adopts New Fee Structure

United Airlines announced an adjustment to its checked baggage fees. Passengers booking domestic economy tickets will now face a $40 charge for the first checked bag. Prepaying online at least 24 hours before the flight reduces this fee to $35. The second checked bag sees an increase to $50 at the airport. And this has a discounted rate of $45 for those who pay in advance.

The adjusted United Airlines checked baggage fees will come into effect immediately. Passengers opting for domestic economy tickets will experience a $5 increase in both the first and second checked bag fees. Exceptions to these fees are granted for specific passenger categories, including active military personnel, top-tier class travelers, certain credit card holders, and frequent flyers with elite status.

Airlines in USA Raise Baggage Fees

The trend of increasing fees extends beyond United Airlines flights. Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have also implemented similar adjustments in recent months. American Airlines joined the fee hike trend, signaling a potential industry-wide shift. As airlines face rising maintenance and labor contract costs, these fee increases contribute additional revenue to an industry that already generates billions annually from passenger baggage fees alone.

The recent surge in checked baggage fees at United Airlines aligns with an industry-wide pattern, impacting travelers and reshaping the financial dynamics of air travel. As the trend continues, passengers may witness similar adjustments from other carriers, further influencing the economics of air travel in the coming months.

In case you are traveling from USA to India from a smaller US airport, you might have to take a domestic flight to a larger hub like JFK or Chicago ORD. And if you are traveling through United Airlines flights, you might have to pay an increased baggage fee. If you have booked Indian Eagle tickets, you can contact the 24/7 customer support team to enquire about the United Airlines checked baggage fees for your itinerary. 

Which airline in USA do you think will raise its baggage fees? What are your views on United Airlines checked baggage fees 2024 hike? Comment below and share your views on the trend of baggage fees hike among US carriers.

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