United Airlines pulls ahead of the other U.S. carriers when it comes to baggage fees, but not in a good way. Most airlines with baggage fees are charging $25 for a second checked bag and $15 for a first checked bag. Up until now, only Delta Air Lines charged $50 for a second bag with no fee for a first checked bag.
Effective on tickets purchased Sept. 16 for travel on or after Nov. 10, 2008, non-elite passengers on United will be required to pay $50 one way to check a second bag on flights within the U.S. and to or from Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For a traveler with two bags, the total cost to check them both roundtrip under the new baggage policy will be $130.
Passengers flying in United First or United Business, elite members with United or Star Alliance and active duty military personnel are exempt from the fee. United expects to bring in approximately $700 million in revenue from checked baggage fees in 2009.