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Delta Air Lines just raised its baggage fees by 17%

Delta is the latest major airline to hike baggage fees after United, American, Alaska and JetBlue all did the same in recent weeks.
Delta Air Lines just raised its baggage fees by 17%
Posted at 8:31 PM, Mar 05, 2024

Time to learn how to pack a little lighter — unless you're willing to fork over some extra cash to check a bag.

Nearly all major U.S. carriers have recently announced price hikes for their baggage fees, with Delta Air Lines being the latest to jump on the bandwagon.

The company said Tuesday that effective immediately, the price for its travelers' first and second checked bags will increase by $5 for most domestic and short-haul international routes. This is a 17% increase from its previous prices of $30 for your first checked bag and $40 for a second.

The new rule won't apply to tickets purchased before March 5, and customers with status perks — such as Delta SkyMiles Medallion members, first-class customers and people with eligible co-branded Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards, will continue to receive the same number of complimentary checked bags as before.

This is the first time Delta has increased its baggage fees since 2018 and is, according to the airline, due to rising industry costs.

It's the same reason Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue gave, in part, for also raising their baggage fees in recent weeks. 

SEE MORE: Over 100 US airports will get upgrades thanks to government funding

In January, Alaska added $5 to both its first and second checked baggage rates. Then in late February, American Airlines made its baggage fees $5 higher when purchased online and $10 more at the airport. Days later, United Airlines raised its baggage rates by $5. Sometime in the middle of the month, JetBlue quietly increased its baggage fees too, costing $10 more for both first and second checked bags.

Baggage prices have become a key source of revenue for airlines. In the first three quarters of 2023, U.S. airlines took in nearly $5.5 billion in checked-bag fees, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And when the full revenue is in, it'll likely be higher than in 2022, which totaled $6.8 billion.

So how much will checked bags now cost, without perks, per major airline after the changes?

    Delta Air Lines: $35 for the first checked bag, $45 for the second

    American Airlines: $40 for the first checked bag ($35 when purchased online 24 hours before departure), $45 for the second (both at the airport and online)

    United Airlines: $40 for the first checked bag ($35 when purchased online 24 hours before departure), $50 for the second ($45 prepaid online)

    JetBlue: $45 for the first checked bag ($35 when purchased online 24 hours before departure), $60 for the second ($50 prepaid online)

    Alaska Airlines: $35 for the first checked bag, $45 for the second

    Southwest Airlines: First and second checked bags are free.


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