United Airlines raises checked bag fee $5, following American

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United Airlines planes at Denver International Airport.
Leslie Josephs | CNBC

United Airlines is raising the price to check bags, becoming the latest carrier this year to hike a fee that generated more than $5 billion for airlines in the first nine months of 2023 alone.

United economy passengers who book domestic tickets starting Feb. 24 will pay $40 for a first checked bag, or $35 if they prepay online at least 24 hours before their flight, an increase of $5. A second checked bag will cost $50 at the airport, or $45 in advance, up $5 for both options.

The changes apply to most flights throughout North America, a United spokeswoman said.

In 2020, United raised the price to check a bag at the airport by $5 to $35 but kept it steady at $30 if travelers paid for the service in advance.

Certain credit card holders, frequent flyers with elite status, active military and travelers in top-tier classes can still check a bag for free, United said.

Earlier this week, American Airlines raised its fee to check a first bag on domestic flights to $35 if purchased in advance and $40 at the airport. Both options were previously $30. A second checked bag will go up from $40 to $45.

Airlines and other companies have been grappling with how to grow profits while reining in costs, such as new labor contracts, while pricing power has waned.

JetBlue and Alaska Airlines have also raised bag fees this year.

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