Air Freight News

United Airlines joins American, JetBlue to raise checked bag fees

United Airlines Holdings Inc. became the latest US carrier to increase fees for checked bags as the industry faces inflationary pressures for labor and other rising expenses.

The cost for North American passengers to check their first bag will rise $5 to $40 for all tickets purchased on or after Feb. 24, United said Friday in an emailed statement. The fee for a second checked bag will be $50. The carrier will offer a $5 discount when customers prepay online at least 24 hours in advance.

The move comes several days after rival American Airlines Group Inc. disclosed a $5 bump in its bag fees — with exclusions for frequent flyer members. JetBlue Airways Corp. also raised the fees this month.

While US airlines have been bringing in record revenue, costs also have been climbing, including for labor and jet fuel, the two largest expenses. New contracts for pilots and other work groups have included double-digit pay increases and jet fuel prices are up nearly 13% since the start of the year.

Airlines worldwide collected an estimated $33.3 billion in baggage fees last year, according to an annual report from IdeaWorks Co. and CarTrawler. The record climbed nearly 15% from 2022 and exceeded the amount collected in pre-pandemic 2019 for the first time.

Bloomberg
Bloomberg

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© Bloomberg
The author’s opinion are not necessarily the opinions of the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

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