As if basic economy wasn’t bad enough…

In an exciting move for travelers offering increased choice, United is raising checked baggage fees. United hasn’t actually said that yet, but we can’t imagine the messaging is too far off. The airline, amongst others has used “customer choice” as justification for launching basic economy fares, which stripped passengers of seating assignments, checked baggage, dignity and early boarding privileges, and now, they’re raising prices for those who want to pay up. Paying up, now means paying even more for a checked bag…

$30 For A Checked Bag

Passengers have long lamented checked baggage fees on domestic U.S. flights, and although painful, for years the fees remained flat. Until this last week, passengers paid $25 each way for the first checked bag on all major U.S. airlines, with the exception of Southwest, which does not charge for the first, nor second bag. United follows JetBlue’s move this week to raise checked bag fees to $30 for the first bag, each way for flights within the USA, or to the Caribbean, and Central America. In JetBlue’s defense, if you don’t pay for a bag, you still receive a traditional experience. These new baggage fees take effect for all fares purchased today, and onward. A second additional bag will cost $40 each way.

The Big Three

United is the first of the U.S. based “big three”, rounded out by American and Delta, to raise baggage fees, but they’re sure not to be the last. From increasing spending requirements to earn frequent flyer status to devaluing frequent flyer miles, the three major U.S. airlines have done an incredible job of playing copycat, and generally speaking, not for the betterment of the travel experience. It’s highly ironic that United cites making travel more affordable as a reason for launching basic economy fares, while simultaneously launching initiatives to make it impossibly expensive to travel without getting caught up in a myriad of pesky, and now increasing fees.

What do you make of these United baggage fee changes?