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United Airlines said Friday it is increasing checked bag fees on all flights in North America, joining other carriers that have recently boosted such charges.

Economy class passengers on domestic United Airlines flights will now pay an additional $5, raising the cost for their first checked bag to $40. The fee for a second checked bag will also rise $5, climbing to $45 in advance online and $50 at the airport.

The new policy is effective for tickets purchased on or after Saturday, February 24, United said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

The airline, which said it hadn’t raised checked bag fees since 2020, noted that most passengers can save $5 on each checked bag if they pay in advance at least 24 hours before their flight. United Chase credit card holders, MileagePlus Premier members, active military members and customers traveling in premium cabins can still 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 charge for a second bag from $40 to $45 and increased bag fees for short international flights.

American Airlines raising checked bag fees


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.

Over the first nine months of 2023, domestic airlines charged nearly $5.5 billion in baggage fees, Bureau of Transportation data shows.

United passengers bemoaning the fee increase may find consolation in hearing the airline is increasing the size of its overhead bins. “United is in the process of updating all of its mainline aircraft with new, larger bins designed to have room for everyone’s carry-on bag,” the company said.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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