Multiple Airlines Raise Baggage Fees

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American Airlines has announced that the price of a first checked bag will rise from $30 to $40 for travelers who don’t pay before they arrive at the airport. For those who pay during online check-in, the cost is $35. That’s the highest fee charged for a first checked bag by any major U.S. airline.

According to American’s new fee schedule—the first price increase for checked baggage in five years—bag fees for domestic flights (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) will now be $35 for first checked bags purchased online or $40 for first checked bags purchased at the airport.

The second checked bag fee will be $45 online or at the airport.

Bag fees for Canada-bound flights and short-haul international flights will be $35 for first checked bags and $45 for second checked bags purchased online or at the airport.

The fee for traveling with a pet in the passenger cabin was increased to $150.

Some of these fees will still be waived for travelers holding AAdvantage elite status.

American is the latest major airline to raise baggage fees. United recently raised its fee to $40 for a first checked bag at the airport, and to $35 for those who prepay online at least 24 hours before their flight, both of which are a $5 increase. In addition JetBlue has increased its checked-bag fee to $45, and Alaska to $35.

Airlines say they’re increasing bag fees to cover costs, while purchasing checked bags in advance reduces congestion at the airport by freeing up employees at check-in areas and getting travelers to their gates faster, they say.

In other airline fee news, Southwest remains the lone major not charging checked bag fees—unless you reach three checked bags—but has changed its WiFi fee, charging $8 per flight segment rather than the previous $8 per day.

This post first appeared at Prevue’s sister site,

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