Airline Baggage Fees Are Rising. Here's What You'll Have To Pay in 2024

Checked baggage fees

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Checked baggage fees
Cheapism / DALL-E 3

Packing a Price

The cost of living is on a stubborn climb across the board, and we're not just talking about frequented places like the grocery store or fast-food joints. Traveling is also getting more expensive, especially with rising costs on things like baggage fees.

Recently, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue announced an increase in baggage fees. Let's take a closer look at what leading airlines in the U.S. — as well as one Canadian airline — are charging for baggage fees in 2024.

Alaska Airlines

1. Alaska Airlines

Carry-on: Free

First checked bag: $35 

Second checked bag: $45

Alaska Airlines kicked off the latest series of hiked checked baggage fees by raising the cost of a traveler’s first checked bag up to $35 and a second checked bag up to $45. This marks a $5 increase — which isn't much, but can add up over time.

American Airlines prepares to land in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Michael Valdez/istockphoto

2. American Airlines

Carry-on: Free

First checked bag: $35-40

Second checked bag: $45

American Airlines also raised its checked baggage fees. The company took a similar approach to that of JetBlue, though, and set up the baggage fees in a tiered fashion; fees for prepaid bags are cheaper than bags checked at the airport. An American Airlines passenger’s first checked baggage fee on any American domestic flights is now $35, which is up from the original $30, whenever purchased online. If the checked bag is paid for at the airport it’ll cost $40. The second checked bag is now $45 instead of $40, no matter where it’s purchased.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 in Car Parking Lot - Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Nate Hovee/istockphoto

3. Delta Air Lines

Carry-on: Free 

First checked bag: $30 

Second checked bag: $40

Delta Air Lines hasn’t raised its checked baggage fees just yet, but if prior decisions by other airlines are any indication of what we might be able to expect, it might happen soon. A large part of this is due to the impact of inflation, with higher operation costs for airlines as a result. 

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Airplane by Kuhnmi (CC BY-SA)

4. Frontier

Carry-on: Free

First checked bag: $49-$99

Second checked bag: $69-$89

The key thing to note when it comes to flying with Frontier is to make absolutely sure that your carry-on bag will meet Frontier’s strict size parameters. Specifically, your carry-on bag will have to be 35 pounds or less, and smaller than 24-inches tall, 16-inches wide, and 10-inches deep. Lastly, as is the case with most airlines, the sooner that you take care of booking your checked bags, the cheaper they’ll be. If you end up waiting to check a bag at the airport gate, you could end up spending as much as $99. That is not how you want to kick off a flight.

Related: 7 Airlines That Redditors Say You Should Avoid

JetBlue land operations and boarding in Owen Roberts Intl. Airport in Grand Cayman Islands

5. JetBlue

Carry-on: Free

First checked bag: $35-$45

Second checked bag: $50-$60

JetBlue decided to raise its checked baggage fees for all flights within the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean. The company was a bit more intense in how much it raised its baggage fees, now requiring travelers to shell out over $45 for their first checked bag and $60 for their second checked bag. This marks a $10 increase from the prior checked baggage fees. However, it seems like JetBlue is still trying to keep things reasonable enough by declaring that any customer who prepays for their bags before the 24-hour mark leading up to the flight can pay $35 for their first bag and $50 for their second bag.

Southwest Airlines

6. Southwest Airlines

Carry-on: Free

First checked bag: Free

Second checked bag: Free

Of all the major airlines that have banded together to raise baggage fees, it's refreshing to see Southwest Airlines remain comfortably outside the pack. The airline continues to allow customers to enjoy up to two free checked bags. The only catch is that each bag has to weigh under 50 pounds and be under 62 inches in size. 

Spirit Airlines in Fort Lauderdale

7. Spirit Airlines

Carry-on: $41-$55

First checked bag: $36-$50 

Second checked bag: $46-$60

Spirit Airlines has long since maintained a reputation for providing customers with well-priced flights. You can use the Spirit Airlines’ company calculator to determine what kinds of baggage fees you’ll be working with. You should also note that Spirit Airlines will charge you for carry-on bags. Lastly, Spirit Airlines does charge $79 for any bags you have that weight 41 to 50 pounds, and $125 for any bags that weight 51 to 100 pounds.

Related: Is Spirit Airlines Safe, and Why Is It So Cheap?

United Airlines
Rusell Hendry/istockphoto

8. United Airlines

Carry-on: Free

First checked bag: $35-40

Second checked bag: $45-50

United Airlines also decided to join the baggage fees price hike movement and charge travelers $40 for their first checked bags (up from the current $35 fee). However, customers that make the extra effort to prepay for their first checked bags at least 24 hours before their flight can get a $5 discount. A second checked bag will now cost $50, or $45 if it’s prepaid.

Plane at the O'Hare International Airport

9. WestJet

Carry-on: Free

First checked bag: $35-$42

Second checked bag: $55-$65

In late 2023, Canadian airline WestJet hiked its baggage fees by $10 for any customers that chose to check their bags with the help of an agent at the airport. Now, WestJet is charging an additional $5 for checked luggage. For an economy fare ticket that’s purchased online, passengers will end up paying between $35 and $42 for their first checked bag, and between $55 and $65 for their second checked bag.