Lonely Planet Writer

Several US and Canadian airlines are raising baggage charges; here's what you need to know

When it comes to flights, we all look around for the best value we can get, but some charges are fixed and inescapable. One of these charges is the checked baggage fees, and in the case of several US and Canadian airlines, these costs have recently risen in price.

Rising fuel costs have caused several US and Canadian airlines to raise fees on baggage. Image: Erik Dreyer

Delta, United, American Airlines and JetBlue all recently increased the cost of the first checked bag for economy passengers from $25 (€21.21) to $30 (€25.45). The charge for a second checked bag fee has also risen by $5 (€4.24) to $40 (€33.94) and for Delta, it’s $50 (€42.42) for flights to and from Canada. A third checked bag costs $150 (€127.27), up from $100 (€84.85), for all four airlines, as do any additional bags for United and JetBlue, while it’s $200 (€169.69) for a fourth bag with Delta and American Airlines.

Several US and Canadian airlines to raise fees on check-in baggage. Image by izusek

Some people are predicting that other carriers will increase their prices because a recent rise in fuel prices has impacted all airlines. The trend has spread to Canada with Air Canada and WestJet also raising their first checked bag fees to C$30 (€19.64), and they have raised the cost of the second checked bags to C$50 (€26.19). For all airlines, these prices can vary depending on the region the flight originates from and its destination, so it’s best to check the individual baggage policy for each airline before booking.

Rising fuel costs are being blamed for airlines raising fees on baggage. Image: JGI/Tom Grill

“Fuel prices are up over 33%,” says JetBlue CEO, Robin Hayes. “You end up having to pass those on. We’re about low fares. We hate increasing fares. But we had a couple of fare increases, and then we made the decision to increase the bag fee to $30 if you don’t buy it in the fare.”