Delta Airlines raises baggage fees, a decision spurred by rivals

Mar 6, 2024, 12:50 PM | Updated: 8:12 pm

delta baggage fees...

A Delta Airlines plane takeoff from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California, United States on February 21, 2024. (Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Getty Images)

(Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Getty Images)

Delta Airlines just announced it will increase the cost of checking bags by 17% with an additional $5 charge on top of the previous $30 fee for bags on domestic flights.

The airline is the third major company to announce a plan to increase baggage fees by $5 in the past couple of weeks, following American and United Airlines. Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways made their price increase for baggage fees back in January.

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Delta said Tuesday the first bag checked on a domestic flight will now incur a $35 fee. The charge for a second bag rose from $40 to $45. For international flights, the costs jumped even more — $65 for the first bag and $100 for the second. All bags must be within the weight limit of 50 lbs. or they could be subject to a fee per pound.

Delta told MSNBC that the price hike will help the company stay on pace with rising industry costs. Prominent U.S. airlines and carriers have a history of copying each other’s pricing models, according to The Associated Press. It’s a move sometimes referred to as “herd instinct.”

Bag fees have become a dependable source of revenue for airlines since American introduced them in 2008 when jet fuel prices were surging, according to The Associated Press. In 2022, the last full year for which statistics are available, U.S. airlines took in $6.8 billion in checked-bag fees, led by American at $1.4 billion and United at $1.1 billion. Delta was in third place with $979.4 million.

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For SkyMiles, Medallion members and first-class customers, Delta announced they can continue to enjoy complimentary checked bags. Members of Delta’s SkyMiles Loyalty Program with more than 3,000 sky miles can convert miles to pay for checked luggage.

Contributing: Frank Sumrall, MyNorthwest; The Associated Press

You can read more of Micki Gamez’s stories here. Follow Micki on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Delta Airlines raises baggage fees, a decision spurred by rivals