American Airlines is increasing checked baggage fees. Here’s how other airlines stack up

American Airlines announced on Tuesday changes to its baggage policy, increasing the fees for checked bags. American also made several other changes to its policies and fees. 

For domestic American Airline flights, the fee for a checked bag will be increased from $30 to $35, if you purchase online, according to a news release. If you wait to purchase in-airport, the fee for the checked bag is $40. And for a second checked bag, the fee is $45 online or at the airport. 

This is the first time the airline has adjusted baggage fees since 2018, according to the release. The changes go into effect Tuesday, Feb. 20. For tickets purchased on or before Feb. 19, the former, lower fees will apply.

The airline also announced several other changes, including a $150 fee for in-cabin pets, up from $125. However, they said the are reducing fees for overweight bags. A 50 to 70 pound bag used to cost an extra $100 to $200. Now, a 50 to 53 pound bag will cost you an extra $30, while a 53 to 70 pound bag will cost $100 to $200. This fee increases with weight and size. 

As the U.S. faces inflation, airlines have received criticism for fees and ticket prices – an issue the Biden administration has vowed to fix. Here’s how other airlines’ baggage fees compare. 

1. Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines has some of the highest baggage fees compared to other U.S.-based airlines, and you can check the baggage fees for your flight using a feature on their website. 

The fees for your first carry-on and checked bag on most domestic Frontier flights is $59 each – if you pay for them while you book your ticket. The fee for each of these bags increases to $74 if you pay before check-in and $99 if you pay at the airport. 

The prices increase for second and additional checked bags. Most airlines do not charge for carry-ons. 

2. Spirit Airlines

Spirit also has a calculator to determine baggage fees – and they charge for carry-ons. 

On most domestic flights with standard tickets, your carry-on costs $49 and your first checked bag costs $44 – if you purchase while booking. If you wait to purchase before checkin or at the airport, these prices increase.

3. Alaska Airlines

Effective Jan. 2, a first checked bag on an Alaska Airlines domestic flight will cost $35, while a second will cost $45 – these fees were increased by $5, a plan Alaska announced last year. 

The airline did not make changes to the fees for third or additional checked bags or overweight bags. 

2. JetBlue 

JetBlue has tiers to its checked bag system. If you buy a basic ticket for a domestic flight, the fee is $35 for the first bag and $50 for the second. You can pay less if you add the bags before check-in, but pay extra if you pay within 24 hours of your departure. 

You can also save by becoming a Mosaic member – earned by racking up miles – or paying for a premium ticket, called Blue Plus, which waives your baggage fee. This ticket also includes perks like free cancellation and advance seat selection. 

3. United Airlines

United Airlines has a baggage fee calculator on its website. Most domestic flights like New York to Miami or Los Angeles to Dallas have a standard fee of $35 for the first checked bag and $45 for the second. You can save $5 on each if you pay in advance.

4. Delta 

On domestic Delta flights, the standard fee for your first checked bag is $30 and the fee for the second bag is $40. 

5. Southwest

Southwest offers two free checked bags. Like most airlines, the bag must be under 50 pounds and 62 inches in size. The airline says ski and golf bags may also fly free – and surfboards fly free in Hawaii. 

Your third or additional checked bags cost $125 and overweight checked bags are $100. 

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