United Airlines Now Charging $30 for First Bag, Will Others Follow?

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JetBlue Airways recently announced they’d be increasing their baggage fees for the first checked bag to $30 a bag for travel after August 27, 2018. It only took United Airlines 4 days to take note of this for them to implement the same checked baggage fee increase. I’d be surprised if Delta and American Airlines don’t follow suit, so expect similar announcements from them shortly.


United Airlines on Friday became the latest carrier to raise the cost of checking a bag, as airlines grapple with a profit-crimping surge in fuel prices.

The fee to check a bag on the third-largest U.S. carrier on domestic, Caribbean and Central American flights booked Friday or later will cost $30, up $5. The move follows a similar change announced this week by JetBlue Airways

These fees are for United Economy passengers, if you’re on a Basic Economy fare, and try to check your bag at the gate, be sure to read this Warning Before Booking United Basic Economy, where you’ll pay an additional $25 gate handling charge in addition to the $30 baggage fee, for a total of $55.

Several credit cards including The Platinum Card® from American Express offers annual airline fee credits, which will reimburse you for expenses including checked baggage fees.

United Premier members have a complimentary checked baggage allowance for United Economy tickets. Premier Silver can check 1 bag at 50 lbs; Premier Gold can check 2 bags at 70 lbs; and Premier Platinum and 1K can both check 3 bags at 70 lbs. complimentary, all benefits of having Premier status with the airline. Additionally, United credit card holders also receive a complimentary first checked bag when flying United.

When it comes to US airlines, the big three which include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines tend to follow each others’ pricing model when it comes to change fees, baggage fees etc. so it’s highly likely that we can expect American and Delta to match this increased fee as early as next week.

What are your thoughts on United raising their first checked baggage fee to $30? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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