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United Airlines hikes baggage fees, matches American

BRETT COOMER/HOUSTON CHRONICLE VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Juan Chavez handles baggage as it comes off a United Airlines aircraft upon landing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Dec. 21, 2023, in Houston. United Airlines said, today, that it is raising its fees for checking bags, following a similar move earlier this week by American Airlines.
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BRETT COOMER/HOUSTON CHRONICLE VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

Juan Chavez handles baggage as it comes off a United Airlines aircraft upon landing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Dec. 21, 2023, in Houston. United Airlines said, today, that it is raising its fees for checking bags, following a similar move earlier this week by American Airlines.

CHICAGO >> United Airlines said today that it is raising its fees for checking bags, following a similar move earlier this week by American Airlines.

Starting with tickets booked Saturday, economy-class passengers on domestic flights will be charged $5 more. That will bring the price to $35 if they pay online at least 24 hours before the flight, and $40 after that.

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

Passengers in premium cabins, 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 said.

Earlier this week, American Airlines raised its 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. American also increased bag fees for short international flights.

Alaska Airlines raised its bag fees for most economy passengers in January, and JetBlue followed earlier this month.

Bag fees have become a dependable source of revenue for airlines since American introduced them in 2008, when jet fuel prices were surging. In 2022, the last full year for which statistics are available, U.S. airlines took in $6.8 billion in checked-bag fees, led by American at $1.4 billion and United at $1.1 billion.

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