United Airlines Passengers Can Now Prepay Their Bag Fees

Aug 28, 2019

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If you’re flying United, you won’t have to wait in line just for the privilege of paying to check a bag anymore. The airline will now let travelers pay those fees online any time after their travel is ticketed.

USA Today first reported on the new policy, which the airline confirmed at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Las Vegas.

In an email sent to employees, which TPG reviewed, the airline noted that it is the first legacy carrier to offer a baggage pre-pay option.

Historically, low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier have allowed passengers to pay their ancillary fees ahead of time (and then charged a premium to passengers who chose to pay at the airport), but traditional full-fare airlines like United have generally only permitted passengers to pay fees in person or during the online check-in process.

Unlike the low-cost carriers, United will charge the same rates ($30 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second) to passengers whether they pay online or in person. United’s software will automatically refund passengers who pre-pay for a bag but do not end up checking one.

The airline said the new system should help reduce crowding in airport check-in areas.

For those looking for avoid bag fees altogether, travelers holding either the United Explorer Card or United Explorer Business Card get a free checked bag for the card holder and for up to one traveling companion.

Featured photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

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