United Airlines Charges For Checked Bags

June 12, 2008

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United Airlines, following rival American Airlines, announced it will begin charging customers for checked bags. The airline says it's making the change to offset high fuel prices.

It'll cost $15 to check a first bag and another $25 for a second each way on United Airlines domestic flights. The Chicago-based company says the fees are expected to generate revenue of about $275 million a year. U.S. editor for Airline Business Magazine and industry analyst David Field says this isn't enough to greatly offset fuel costs.

FIELD: That pays for a couple of weeks worth, a couple of days worth of extra fuel. It's going to take a great deal of increases both fares and ancillary charges to get anywhere near paying for fuel.

United is also upping the fees for overweight bags or items that require special handling. The charges apply to customers who purchase a plane ticket starting tomorrow.