BY WAYNE CHARGUALAF
For now, at least, Guam and Micronesia have been spared United Airlines’ recent increase in checked baggage fees, according to a statement from United Corporate Communications. The Northern Mariana Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia will also be spared the fee increase.
Starting March 6, the Chicago-based airline increased checked baggage fees for short-haul domestic flights by five dollars — from $30 to $35 for the first piece of checked baggage and from $40 to $45 for the second.
The changes do not apply to customers who booked their trips before February 21, and will not apply to customers who prepay online before check-in. MileagePlus Premier customers and those who purchase tickets with an eligible MileagePlus credit card will continue to receive complimentary checked luggage.
Routes to the Caribbean and certain routes to Latin America are included in the fee increase.
United last increased checked baggage fees in 2018. Guam, the NMI, Palau and the FSM were spared from that increase as well (See “United local baggage policy unaffected amidst other changes” in the Sept. 17 issue of the Journal). United passengers flying from those island can check their first piece of baggage for free and are charged $70 for the second bag.
Jet Blue also recently increased its checked baggage fees by five dollars starting in January, about two months before United. There’s speculation that other airlines will soon follow suit.
According to its website, Jet Blue travelers are charged $35 for the first checked bag and $45 for the second bag. For flights booked between Nov. 12 and Jan. 15, however, passengers will be charged the prior fee of $30 and $40.
Jet Blue passengers won’t be charged the $5 increase if they check their bags in more than 24 hours before the flight. mbj