Alaska Airlines Is The Next Airline To Raise Baggage Fees – Starting In December

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This year we have seen the price of checked bags skyrocket as one airline after another has increased the price of checked luggage.  Alaska Airlines held out longer than the others, but now announced that they too, will be raising checked baggage fees.

The price of checked bags on Alaska Airlines will go up by $5 to $25 per bag starting for tickets purchased on December 5th, 2018, or later.

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Alaska Airlines Is the Next Airline to Increase Fees for Checked Bags

Here is the new fee chart:

TravelerCarry On1st Checked Bag2nd Checked Bag3rd Checked Bag4th+ Checked Bag
StandardFree$30$40$100$100 each
Elite Status MembersFreeFreeFree$100$100 each
Companions of Elite Status Members on the Same ReservationFreeFreeFree$100$100 each
Alaska Airlines Credit CardholdersFreeFree$40$100$100 each
First Class PassengersFreeFreeFree$100$100 each
Passengers Traveling in Alaska (Origin and Destination in Alaska)FreeFreeFreeFree$100 each
Active Duty US Military (or dependents on travel orders)FreeFreeFreeFreeFree (Up to 5 total bags, then $100 each. Weight up to 70lbs allowed before overweight charges begin)

For most passengers the increase will mean an extra $5 for the first bag and $15 for the second.

This is how the old price compares with the new pricing for standard passengers:

  • 1st Bag:  Was $25 → Now $30 ($5 increase)
  • 2nd Bag:   Was $25 → Now $40 ($15 increase)
  • 3rd (or more) Bag:   Was $75 → Now $100 ($25 increase)

Previously, Alaska Airlines charged the same price of just $25 for the 1st and 2nd bags you checked.  Now they are following the precedent of other airlines by charging more for the 2nd bag.  The $100 for the 3rd bag onwards is still cheaper than the $150 charged by American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta.

How Can You Avoid Baggage Fees?

There are many ways that you can avoid luggage fees on Alaska Airlines:

  • First Class passengers get their first 2 checked bags for free
  • Elite status members on Alaska Airlines (MVP, MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75k) can get their first 2 checked bags free for them and all companions on the same reservation
  • Bank of American Alaska Airlines Credit Card holders get their 1st checked bag free
  • Active Duty US Military members and/or their dependents on travel orders can get their first 5 bags free (with increased weight limits of 70 lbs each)
  • Club49 Members get 2 free checked bags as long as either the departure or origin cities are within Alaska
  • Travelers within Alaska (must start and end travel in Alaska) get 3 free checked bags

Bottom Line

As soon as JetBlue announced it was increasing baggage prices back in August, it didn’t take long for nearly every major airline to follow their lead and increase prices to match them.  That leaves just Southwest Airlines as the lone US carrier to offer free checked bags (on the first 2 bags, size and weight limits still apply).

The average Alaska Airlines customer can expect to pay an extra $5 for the 1st checked bag as it was increased from $25 to $30.  The 2nd checked bag will cost an extra $15 as it went from $25 to $40.

You can still avoid baggage fees by being either an elite status member, flying first class, or holding an Alaska Airlines credit card.  Or folks with the The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express can get the fees reimbursed (up to $200 per calendar year) if Alaska Airlines is your selected airline.

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Alex Curtis is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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