Airlines Set to Increase Bag Fees
Airline industry changes regarding new or increased fees have recently made the headlines. With the surge in airline travel, coupled with climbing jet fuel prices, airline companies are electing to increase charges and add on fees where they can, in lieu of further increases to airline ticket prices. Certainly this will impact corporate travel management companies as well as leisure travelers.
In addition to the new category of Basic Fares, and the added charges for seat requests and change fees, some airlines have announced they will be upping the checked bag fee as well.
After the news first from JetBlue that the airline will be raising their bag fee, United Airlines announced they will be following suit. Both airlines will now be charging $30 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second checked bag, an increase of $5 per bag.Air Canada and WestJet announced they will also raise their checked bag fees. Whether or not the other major airlines like Delta and American will raise their prices, too, has yet to be announced.
Although five dollars doesn’t seem like an enormous difference, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “travelers paid U.S. airlines a record $4.6 billion to check bags last year.” So, this increase will be a significant revenue increase from 2017, and certainly assist airlines in their quest for great profitability as well as a means to defray rising fuel expenses.
Airline companies have to stay competitive, and in order to do so they will have to continue to find places where they can charge fees. Even when relatively minor, all the fees do start to add to the cost of travel.
The best advice for corporate travelers to bypass this fee is to pack light so that you only need to carry on your luggage.