They're calling it Premier Baggage from United. The idea is that you pay one flat fee -- and the "introductory price" is $249 -- for the privilege of checking up to two bags on every flight for a year. "Forget about first and second bag fees," proclaims today's announcement. "With Premier Baggage, you and up to eight companions traveling under the same confirmation number can check up to two standard bags each without fees, where applicable, every time you travel within the United States or internationally" on United or United Express flights.
Understand that Premier Baggage does not exempt you from paying oversize or overweight fees on those exempted bags. It simply means that a passenger's checked baggage count won't start costing money until bag No. 3 at check-in. United's current rate matches many other baggage fees for major airlines ($20 for the first checked bag and $30 for the second when paid at the airport), so a single traveler would reach the break-even point on this introductory fee after five flights in a year with two checked bags in tow for each trip. But people traveling in a large group under the same reservation could save money pretty quickly.
Still, isn't it nice how United makes something that was free just a few years ago seem like a bargain at $249? You'll be happy to know that same introductory price applies if you want to give "a deserving traveler a full year free of first and second bag fees with a Premier Baggage gift subscription." Interested holiday shoppers beware: the airline's announcement does not say how long the special introductory price will be available.
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