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These 5 U.S. Airlines Have All Increased Their Checked Bag Fees This Year 

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There is no better feeling than traveling light. Passing through the airport with nothing but carry on luggage is a great way to save on stress, time and money.  

But sometimes there’s just no avoiding taking a checked bag especially if you’re flying away on a long international trip.  

People at Bag Check in for American Airlines

The bad news is that these 5 U.S. airlines have all increased their checked bag fees this year. The good news is that there are ways to avoid paying those checked bag fees.  

Here’s what you need to know:  

Delta Airlines 

Passengers check in with luggage for flight to New York JFK at the Delta Air Lines desk

From March 5 Delta Airlines increased the price of their checked baggage fee by $5.

This means that the price of checking a bag has increased from $30 to $35 for the first bag and from $40 to $45 for the second bag.  

This fee hike only applies to U.S. domestic flights and short-haul international journeys. If you are taking a longer international journey, then the fees for checked baggage haven’t been increased.  

The good news is that there are still many ways that you can get free checked baggage perks with Delta.

If you travel in the Airlines premium cabin, are a Medallion elite member, or hold any of the Delta co-branded credit cards then your member benefits will continue to include a free bag allowance.  

Alaska Airlines  

Woman collects suitcase from baggage reclaim

Alaska Airlines have also introduced a $5 per checked bag price hike.  

Checking a bag with Alaska will now cost $35 rather than $30. A second bag will cost $45. And if you want to travel with a 3rd or any additional bags these will be charged at $150 each.  

The good news is that you can avoid having to pay this fee. If you fly first class with the airline or hold either an Alaska Airlines Visa or Visa Business credit card then you will still be offered free checked bags as one of your perks.  

If you are on the Alaska Airlines mileage plan and have MVP benefits, then you will also be entitled to free checked baggage. This is something worth considering if you use the airline regularly and need to travel with larger luggage.  

American Airlines  

woman with luggage on an airport

In line with the other major airlines included on this list American Airlines have also increased their checked baggage fees.  

You will pay slightly different rates depending on whether you are flying domestically or taking a short-haul international flight.  

On domestic flights, you will pay $35 for the first checked bag booked online and $40 for the same bag if you book it at the airport. So you can save money by adding your checked baggage in advance. You will then pay $45 for the second checked bag, whether you book that online or at the airport.  

On short-haul international flights, you will pay $35 for the first checked bag regardless of whether you book this online or at the airport. And $45 for the second bag on the same terms.  

The good news is that you can still take advantage of bag fee waivers with American Airlines. If you fly in a premium cabin, hold AAdvantage or Oneworld elite state, or have a credit card that is American Airlines co-branded, then you can travel with a free standard-sized checked bag.

JetBlue 

Travelers checking baggage with a JetBlue customer service agent at the airport

It will come as no surprise that JetBlue has increased its checked baggage fees, too. In fact, their hike is one of the most significant, especially if you don’t book in advance.  

When traveling domestically will pay $35 for the first standard sized check in bag and $50 for the second when you purchase your bag at least 24 hours before your departure time. If you don’t book in advance then these prices jump to $45 for the first bag and $60 for the second.  

There are ways that JetBlue customers can avoid paying these baggage fees. If you travel in Mint business class or as a JetBlue Mosaic elite customer then you can travel with 2 checked bags for free.  

If you hold the JetBlue Plus Card, then you can travel on JetBlue with 1 free checked bag.  

United Airlines  

Luggage on conveyor belt

Finally United Airlines is also increasing checked bag fees by $5 in line with their competitors. Travelers will now pay $40 for their first checked bag but if they prepay for this at least 24 hours in advance then they will get a $5 discount.  

Taking a second checked bag will cost $50 or $45 if you prepay for this at least 24 hours in advance.  

Looking to take a free checked bag on a United Airlines flight? You can earn free bags if you’re a United MileagePlus member. United Chase credit card holders and members with Premier Elite status are also eligible for free checked bags as part of their member benefits package.  

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Michael Z, NYC

Friday 8th of March 2024

Delta's continuing greed to nickel & diming extra fees for their passengers kicked off this increase. So, the other airlines mentioned in the article jump on the bandwagon.

There's no end in sight for the out of control airlines to add on more nuisance fees for their passengers since President Jimmy Carter signed legislation to deregulate the airlines.

What's next a fee to use the toilet?