The Seattle Times reports the airline will increase checked luggage fees by $5 starting on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.
Increased Fees Due to “Rising Operating Costs”
Since 2008, flyers without a co-branded credit card for the airline they are flying have been faced with an extra charge for checked baggage. To date, all the carriers charge roughly the same amount: $30 for a first bag, $35 for a second. Low-cost carriers and Southwest Airlines are the only outliers: Allegiant, Spirit, and Frontier Airlines charge based on when you purchase a checked bag, while Southwest is the only U.S.-based carrier which does not charge flyers for up to two checked bags on domestic flights.
Alaska will become the first to raise prices among the major carriers across the United States. The second U.S.-based Oneworld alliance member will increase their prices to $35 for a first checked bag and $45 for a second. Any number of items after two will cost $150 each.
In a statement, Alaska noted that the price increase is due to several economic pressures facing the entire aviation industry – including the high fluctuation in fuel costs.
“As we navigate rising operating costs — including high fuel prices — we occasionally need to adjust our fee structure to maintain a high level of excellence in the service we provide,” the statement reads.
Despite the price hike, flyers can still get access to free checked bags aboard Alaska. Flyers who hold the Alaska Airlines credit card can get their first checked bag free for themselves and up to six guests flying with them. In addition, all Alaska Mileage Plan MVP elites get at least two checked bags free for as long as they hold status.
The move comes as Alaska is planning a major expansion to their network. The carrier recently announced a planned merge with Hawaiian Airlines in a transaction valued at $1.9 billion.
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Source: frugal travel guy