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Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 7:10 PM 

United joins WestJet, American & JetBlue in raising checked bag fees

  • Air
  •   02-26-2024  11:57 am
  •   Pax Global Media

United joins WestJet, American & JetBlue in raising checked bag fees
(United Airlines)
Pax Global Media

The cost of flying is going up.

United Airlines has become the latest U.S. carrier to raise the price to check bags, following similar moves recently made by American Airlines and, here at home, WestJet. 

Starting with fares booked Saturday (Feb. 24), economy-class passengers on domestic flights with United will be charged $5 more, which brings the price to $35 if they pay online at least 24 hours before the flight, and $40 after that. (All prices are in U.S. dollars).

The fee for a second checked bag will also rise $5, increasing to $45 in advance online and $50 at the airport.

Passengers with premium fares, holders of United-branded credit cards and customers with elite status in the airline’s frequent-flyer program will still be able to check a bag for free, United says.

United has a bag fee calculator on its website so customers can see how much their bags would cost ahead of time.

WestJet upped fees earlier this month

Earlier this month, WestJet quietly implemented a bag fee increase. 

The Calgary-based airline began charging an extra $5 for checked luggage for travel booked on or after Feb. 15. For an economy fare purchased online, passengers will pay between $35 and $42 for the first checked bag and between $55 and $65 for the second.

The increase comes following a $10 hike WestJet introduced four months ago for passengers who choose to check their bag with an agent at the airport.


American Airlines

Last week, American Airlines raised it fee for a first checked bag on domestic flights from $30 to $35 if paid in advance and to $40 at the airport.

It also hiked the fee for a second bag from $40 to $45 and increased bag fees for short international flights.

It’s the latest in a string of price increases at airlines. In January, Alaska Airlines hiked its bag fees for most economy travellers. Alaska Airlines, too, raised its bag fees for most economy passengers in January, as did JetBlue earlier this month.

The moves come as airlines grapple with rising operating costs (jet fuel prices are up nearly 13 per cent since the start of the year) and renewed labour contracts with pilots and other groups, an expense that, in some cases, has resulted in double-digit pay increases.

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