It took a little bit of time, but Alaska Airlines has caved into matching the new industry standard of the $30 one-way fee to check a piece of luggage on a domestic flight. These fees kicked off with JetBlue introducing them in August, with the major three legacy carriers, Delta, American, and United, chomping at the bit and wasting no time to raise their fees to match.
Alaska's new policy will go into effect on airfares purchased on and after December 5, 2018, which is fair warning, unlike United and American who hiked bag prices under the radar and without alerting customers, leaving many flyers with bags in tow with an unexpected surprise at the check-in counter.
The new policy falls in line with what all other major full-service U.S. based airlines (outside of Southwest) have decided is the proper price point for domestic baggage. The first bag will cost $30 one-way, the second piece will cost $40 one-way, and heavy packers needing a third bag will be charged $100 one-way.
These increases don’t come as a huge surprise; Alaska is merely following along with what is viewed now as the “fair” industry price. I will credit Alaska in giving an ample amount of warning beforehand and not leaving customers to be blindsided at the airport.
Hawaiian is currently the only major carrier still charging $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second piece.
Of course on Southwest, two bags still fly free, so you may want to direct your attention to them when booking flights that require you to check extra bags in the hold.
Another option to skirt around the new baggage fee increases is to sign up for a co-branded airline credit card that waives the cost of checked luggage.
Header image by EQRoy via shutterstock.com