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United Raises Checked Baggage Fees



It will now cost you $35—each way—to check your first bag when flying United Airlines.

The carrier announced on Friday it was increasing its fees for checked baggage from $30 to $35 for the first bag, and from $40 to $45 for a second bag.

It was likely just a matter of time for the second domino to fall after JetBlue increased baggage fees in January, and United, Delta and American are expected to quickly follow.

The increase takes effect on March 6. For tickets purchased before Feb. 21, baggage fees remain at $30 and $40. Baggage fees also remain at $30 and $40 if you pay the fee anytime before online check-in.

Baggage fees have been a constant and lucrative stream of revenue for airlines since 2008 when American Airlines became the first legacy carrier to introduce the concept of baggage fees. Other U.S carriers quickly followed.

Since then?

Well, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that in 2018—the last year figures are available—U.S. airlines brought in $4.9 billion in baggage fees, up from $4.6 billion in 2017 for a 7 percent increase.

American Airlines brought in $1.2 billion in baggage in 2018, the highest among the 11 U.S. carriers. United was next at $888.7 million and Delta was third at $788.5 million.

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American Airlines Offering Roundtrip Fares as Low as $32



Granted, there are very few people taking to the air these days in the wake of the devastating global spread of the coronavirus.

But American Airlines, for whatever reason, is offering one of those crazy once-in-a-lifetime deals.

As first reported by One Mile At A Time, American has a fare through the month of April where you can fly from Miami to Los Angeles for $16 each way.

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Yep, that’s right – $32 roundtrip to go coast to coast.

No doubt it’s one of the most eye-catching, startling fares ever offered, even better than when some airlines run a buy one/get one special. Not that we didn’t believe One Mile At A Time, one of the most well-respected and well-read aviation blogs out there, but we had to see this for ourselves.

Sure enough, when TravelPulse checked it out on Sunday, the fare had increased.

By eight whole dollars.

Choosing random dates and leaving Miami International Airport for Los Angeles International on April 22 and returning April 29, the fare for basic economy was $40 roundtrip. Want a better seat? Main cabin fares were just $96 roundtrip. (Forget about first class. You didn’t think American was that generous, did you? Those fares were $854 roundtrip.)

For the month of May, again choosing random dates and leaving Miami on May 13 and returning May 20, we found basic economy roundtrip fares for $56 and main cabin for $121.

So who’s going to take a flyer on these fares while the virus is still raging?

Certainly, there will be some folks, especially those that might absolutely need to travel more immediately. Or, you might have the gamblers out there who will take the chance that the pandemic and the restrictions will come to an end sooner than later, making the purchase of a May flight seem like a steal.

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