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Joey Solitro

What Checked Bag Fees Cost at Major Airlines After Recent Hikes

People walking with suitcases past a window at an airport.

So far this year, four major airlines — Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines — have hiked checked bag fees, with some saying that this is their first price increase in several years.

Not every airline offered an explanation for the increases. But when JetBlue raised its checked bag fees earlier this month, it cited inflationary pressures including increased costs and attempts to recoup profits following the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The new fees, like the old, vary based on factors such as the number of bags checked, the destination (a domestic versus international flight, for example), as well as whether the traveler pays in advance of the day of departure. In addition, many airlines will waive checked bag fees for certain travelers enrolled in loyalty programs, such as mileage or credit card-affiliated programs.

Here's a quick look at what you can now expect to pay to check your bags for domestic flights at major airlines. Visit each airline's website for more information including a complete list of their new checked bag fees.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines raised checked bag prices for tickets purchased on or after January 2. The airline's new fees include:

  • $35 for first bag (up from $30).
  • $45 for second bag (up from $40).

American Airlines

American Airline's checked bag increase went into effect for tickets purchased on or after February 20. Its list of new fees include:

  • $35 for first bag purchased online for domestic flights, including to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico (up from $30).
  • $40 for first bag on the same flights purchased at the airport (up from $35).
  • $45 for second bag on domestic flights (up from $40).


JetBlue raised checked bag prices as of February 1, according to The Points Guy.

If checking bags at least 24 hours before departure, you'll pay:

  • $35 for first bag on flights within the U.S., Latin America, Caribbean and Canada.
  • $50 for second bag on those flights.

If checking bags within 24 hours of departure, expect to pay:

  • $45 for first bag on flights within the U.S., Latin America, Caribbean and Canada.
  • $60 for second bag on these flights.

United Airlines

United Airlines raised bag fees for tickets purchased on or after February 24. While the airline did not provide specific pricing for each bag, it said that fees for the first and second checked bag will rise by $5 in most markets.

To see what you'll pay, you’ll need to use United’s baggage fee calculator.

For example, travelers flying from Orlando to Washington, D.C. will pay $35 for the first checked bag and $45 for the second checked bag, if they pay in advance of their travel date. They'll pay $40 for the first bag and $50 for the second if they don't prepay, however.

So far, Southwest and Delta stay the course

Neither Southwest Airlines nor Delta Air Lines have joined the pack and raised baggage fees this year, at least so far. Southwest, in fact, allows for two free checked bags.

Even so, there may be some changes ahead at Delta regarding checked bag deals.

According to a February 27 report in The Points Guy, Delta may be eyeing the elimination of its "Bags On Time" guarantee for domestic travel. The program awards SkyMiles members 2,500 bonus points "if your checked bag doesn't arrive at the carousel in 20 minutes or less after any domestic flight," Delta says.

To take advantage of that perk, for now at least, visit Delta's bag claims website and fill out a form no later than three days after your flight's arrival.

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