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United Airlines announces new checked bag policy

6th February 2008 Print
As part of its continuing effort to offer customers choice, flexibility, and low fares, United is announcing a new, simplified checked bag policy for customers who purchase nonrefundable domestic economy tickets. United’s new checked bag policy is available at

Customers who purchase non-refundable domestic economy tickets and do not have status in Mileage Plus or Star Alliance may check one bag for free and a second bag for a $25 service fee.

For all customers, the cost to check up to four additional bags will be $100 per bag. Previous charges ranged from $85-$125 per bag. The cost to check items that require special handling because they are large, overweight or fragile will now be either $100 or $200, depending on the item.

United’s most frequent fliers – customers who have Premier status or higher in Mileage Plus, or Silver status or higher with Star Alliance – will continue to receive the benefit of checking two bags for free.

“This change enables us to continue offering customers competitive fares, and it fits with our overall strategy to tailor our products and services around what our customers value most and are willing to pay for, as we have with our popular Economy Plus seating,” said John Tague, executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “Our customer research shows that only about one in four customers check a second bag, and with this new policy, customers who check extra bags may continue to do so for a service fee, which enables us to offer competitive fares to everyone.”

United estimates that this change will generate more than $100 million annually for the company in cost savings and new revenue.

This new checked bag policy applies for travel beginning on May 5, 2008, within the U.S. and to/from Canada, San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, and the service fee to check a second bag only applies to tickets purchased on or after Feb. 4, 2008. Customers may pay this service fee at an airport Easy Check-InSM kiosk with a credit card or at the check-in counter with a credit card, check or cash.

For itineraries that include international flights (except Canada), checking a second bag will continue to be free and the cost to check more than two bags or items that are overweight or require special handling varies by destination.