United checked baggage fees are being raised by $5

Yet another major U.S. airline is raising checked bag fees.

United Airlines said Friday it will raise checked bag fees by $5 for most travelers flying coach within North America.

Starting Saturday, Feb. 24, United will charge travelers $40 for their first checked bag. Customers who prepay to check a bag at least 24 hours ahead of their flight will get a $5 discount.

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That’s up from United’s current $35 fee for a first checked bag or $30 for travelers who pay in advance.

A second bag will cost $50, or $45 if prepaid — also a $5 hike.

The airline is not changing its bag fee structure for long-haul international flights.

CNBC was first to report the news, which TPG confirmed with an airline spokesperson.

This announcement from United comes in what’s turned out to be something of a domino effect among major U.S. carriers regarding checked bag fees. American Airlines similarly announced a bag fee hike just three days ago. Alaska Airlines and JetBlue did the same earlier this year.

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This is the first time United has raised checked bag fees since 2020, the airline noted in a statement to TPG Friday.

Though the Chicago-based carrier did not offer insight into the rationale behind this change, other U.S. carriers cited cost headwinds in announcing the move. Airlines have faced higher costs for fuel and labor in recent months.

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How do you get a free bag on United?


United is not changing any of its perks for MileagePlus members who earn free bags. This includes the bag benefit awarded to United Chase credit card holders and Premier elite status members.

Bottom line

With this announcement from United, four of the six largest U.S. airlines have now raised checked bag fees in 2024 — including two of the Big Three legacy carriers (United, American and Delta Air Lines).

All eyes will surely be on Delta now to see whether it follows in the footsteps of American and United; the airline has not, so far, announced such a plan.

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines still offers its passengers two free checked bags. A hallmark of its service that executives frequently tout, this policy seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

Customers will not likely look forward to paying more for bags on United. However, the airline is expecting hundreds of new aircraft over the coming years, which are expected to have enough overhead bin space for every passenger’s carry-on bag.

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