A leading north American airline is upping the prices for hold baggage in a bid to offset the rising jet fuel costs that are afflicting the aviation industry.
America’s second largest carrier, United Airlines, has declared a new $25 (£12.60) charge for passengers wishing to check in a second bag, in a move that other airlines could feel compelled to follow.
The new charge applies to passengers with non-refundable domestic tickets who do not have Mileage Plus or Star Alliance status with the airline – and will come into force on bookings for travel beginning from May 5th onwards.
United has exempted international travellers from the additional cost, claiming: "Checking a second bag will continue to be free and the cost to check more than two bags or items that are overweight or require special handling varies by destination."
But the new tariff on domestic travellers is intended to yield more than $100 million a year in savings and revenue for the airline, helping to offset what it claimed was a crippling 49 per cent increase in jet fuel prices over the past year.
Critics have claimed that the move is another step in reducing what is included in original airfares – and is consistent with airlines removing freebies like pillows and on-board meals.