checked luggage fees for United and JetBlue increased

JetBlue and United Hike Checked Luggage Fees Following American Airlines

American Airlines may have set a trend among US airlines after announcing an increase in its checked luggage fees. 

Following American Airlines’ decision to increase checked baggage fees, JetBlue and United Airlines also announced similar increases. United is the latest airline to announce such fee adjustments.

After February 24, United passengers will pay $40 for the first checked bag if it wasn’t prepaid online. Conversely, the first checked bag, if prepaid, will be $35.

For the second checked bag, the fee will be $50 if paid at the airport, or $45 if paid in advance. Four years ago, United did the same. They increased the price of checked bags paid at airports by $5 to $35. 

Rising Costs of Maintenance and Labor

However, this move by US airlines may not be surprising. The price increase took place when airlines were dealing with both the rising costs of maintenance and labor. 

JetBlue announced that the reason why the airline decided to increase its checked luggage fees is because of the increased cost of doing business. It said, “the cost of doing business has gone up significantly due to increased wages, higher fuel costs, and other inflationary pressure, and we remain unprofitable since COVID.”

JetBlue announced that the new pricing for the first bag is $35 if paid online or $45 at the airport. The company said that the price increase is “one step we are taking to return our company back to profitability and cover the increased cost of transporting bags.” 

$6.8 Billion in Checked Luggage Fees in 2022

US airlines made a lot of money on checked luggage over the years. US airlines made around $6.8 billion in baggage fees in 2022 and around $5.5 billion from January to September 2023. 

Senator Richard Blumenthal, the chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said in November that he was taking a closer look at different airline fees for ticket changes, seat selection, and baggage. 

In September 2022, the US Transportation Department suggested that airlines should disclose fees for ticket changes, baggage, and family seating the first time the airfare is displayed.

 

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John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.

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