Blah, blah, blah bag fees, blah, blah incremental revenue. Quite frankly, most of these reports reads the same over and over again. It is happening and it isn’t necessarily pretty (nor cheap – $100 for second bag now on United Airlines or Delta between USA and Europe). It is, however, a trend in the industry and one which doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. There have always been some exceptions to the rules which have made things more palatable, especially for folks flying more frequently or in first class. Alaska Airlines has changed that.
The carrier announced this past week that they will begin to charge some first class customers for checked bags, assuming the seat up front came via an upgrade. Those passengers will now be charged $20 for each of their first two checked bags:
Most upgrades will still go to passengers with elite status, passengers who are still exempt from the fees. But this is definitely something of a watershed moment in the chipping away of benefits for first class passengers. Then again, United used to deny upgraders lounge access on some routes but give access to paid customers so maybe it isn’t so new, just a different view of the same old game. Either way, definitely a downgrade in the service on offer.