United Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees

Learn about the recent increase in United Airlines’ checked baggage fees, how it affects your travel costs, and tips on avoiding extra charges.

United Airlines has announced an increase in its checked baggage fees, marking the second time in 18 months that the airline has adjusted its pricing for luggage. This adjustment reflects a broader trend within the airline industry towards increasing ancillary revenues through fees for services like checked baggage. The move comes as airlines continue to diversify their revenue streams beyond just ticket sales, with baggage fees constituting a significant part of this strategy.

For passengers flying United Airlines, the cost for the first checked bag on domestic flights is now $35 when paid in advance online, or $30 if prepaid, up from the previous fee. The second checked bag fee has increased to $45, or $40 if prepaid. For business and first-class passengers, up to two checked bags are included at no additional charge. The fees for checked baggage on international flights vary depending on the destination, with economy passengers on some routes receiving one or two free checked bags. Specific fees can depend on various factors, including travel class, route, and whether the passenger has any exemptions, such as elite status or holds a co-branded United credit card.

To avoid these fees, travelers can consider options such as achieving elite status with United Airlines, paying with a United co-branded credit card that offers free checked bags as a benefit, or optimizing their packing to adhere to carry-on restrictions. The airline’s policy allows for a personal item and a carry-on bag for most flights, with the carry-on bag needing to fit in the overhead bin. Basic economy tickets on domestic flights, however, limit passengers to a personal item only, with a carry-on bag incurring additional fees.

This fee increase underscores the importance for travelers to plan ahead and consider all potential costs associated with their flight booking. By understanding the baggage fee structure and exploring avenues to mitigate these expenses, passengers can make more informed decisions and potentially save on travel costs.

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