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United Airlines Increases Checked Baggage Fees and Joins JetBlue Airways and Two Canadian Airlines.

The airline now charges $ 30 for the first checked bag and $ 40 for the second bag, according to an update on its website. The change came into force on Friday (31st August).

United stated in a statement that higher fees would "allow it to continue to invest in the overall customer experience in today's marketplace".

Some customers, mostly elite-level frequent flyers and those who buy high-fare types, are exempt from the fees.

The move comes a few days after JetBlue became the first major US carrier to raise the price of the first checked bag to $ 30. The discount store Spirit Airlines already charges $ 30 on some routes. The Canadian airlines WestJet and Air Canada also increased their baggage fees this month.

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United rivals American and Delta have not announced higher baggage charges, but airlines tend to compare on charges and tariffs. Southwest Airlines, the country's largest national carrier, allows two free checked baggage items. CEO Gary Kelly is convinced that the airline's pocket-flight policy will remain. Southwest, however, has increased its early bird entry fee.

Above all, United has not changed its pocket-money policy for basic economy tickets. It remains the only major airline that does not allow basic economy passengers to bring a standard carry-on bag for free. The pockets of the passengers must fit under the seat in front of them. Travelers who bring a larger carry-on luggage to the gate pay the standard fee for checked baggage, now $ 30, plus a $ 25 gate surcharge.

American Airlines had a similar policy for Basic Economy passengers, but recently announced that passengers will be able to carry standard carry-on and personal belongings from September 5th. The airline said it was losing base business to Delta, allowing for free standard trading.

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United Airlines Jets are waiting for their next flights at the Newark Liberty International Airport hub in June 2018. (Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, USA TODAY)