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United Announces New Checked Bag Policy

June 12, 2008 By: George Dooley

United Airlines has announced two changes to its domestic checked-bag policy. The service fee to check one bag for domestic travel will be $15 each way and the fee to check three or more bags, overweight bags or items that require special handling will increase from $100 to $125 or from $200 to $250, depending on the item.

United said the changes apply to customers who purchase a ticket on or after June 13, for travel within the U.S. and to/from Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on or after August 18. The $15 service fee does not apply to customers who are flying in United First or United Business or who have premier status with United or Star Alliance. Details on United's checked bag policy are available at

"With record-breaking fuel prices, we must pursue new revenue opportunities, while continuing to offer competitive fares, by tailoring our products and services around what our customers value most and are willing to pay for," said John Tague, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

United estimates that the new $15 service fee will apply to one out of three customers, and the potential revenue from baggage handling service fees, including those for checking a first and second bag, will be approximately $275 million a year.

The fee to check a second bag is $25 each way and applies to customers who purchase Economy tickets for travel exclusively within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada, and who do not have premier status in Mileage Plus or Star Alliance.

For itineraries that include international flights (except Canada), checking a first and 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.

Customers may pay these service fees at an airport Easy Check-In kiosk with a credit card or at the check-in counter with a credit card, check or cash. To ensure smooth operations at the airport, United will have developed the ability later this year for customers to pay for baggage fees via when they check-in online. Visit

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