More on United’s New Rules
I’ve delved a bit deeper into United’s domestic policy changes and have discovered some hidden items that may wind up costing inattentive travelers even more than the $25 the airline will charge for a second piece of checked luggage (and remember, that’s $25 each way, so we’re talking $50 round trip). When you go to the airline’s Web site and click on “New domestic checked baggage pandora policy,” you’ll find the fee details. But click on the “domestic baggage questions” link to find these nuggets:
“Are any other baggage fees changing?
“United is simplifying the policy for bags that require special handing because they are large, overweight or fragile. Oversize bags or those that weigh more than 50 lbs. will cost $100.00 per bag. Items that are large, fragile and/or require special handling will also have new prices of either $100.00 or $200.00, depending on the item. Visit oversized and excess baggage to view the current charges.”
My analysis: “Simplifying” means increasing the fee from $50 fee to $100 for any piece of lugg pandora age weighing more than 50 pounds. I can just see wide eyed travelers at the check in counter being told, “Your bag weighs 53 pounds, and that will be $100.” Look for lots of wild last moment transferring of items. Could be a mess. As for those traveling with large items, such as surfboards, diving gear and bicycles, you’ll be paying about $15 more than you had been. Don’t worry golfers: Clubs will continue to be considered as a piece of luggage, so if your golf bag is your only piece of checked luggage (and it weighs less than 50 lbs.), it’s free. Parents, some good news: Checking car seats or strollers will continue to be free.
“How much will it cost to check more than two bags?
“For all customers for travel on or after May 5, 2008, the cost to check up to four excess bags will be $100.00 per bag. Previous charges ranged from $85.00 to $125.00 per bag. The cost for checking more than four excess bags continues to be $200.00 per bag.”
My analysis: Makes it sound as if they’re just turning this $85 to $125 charge into a flat $100 fee. But that’s a bit misleading. The first two pieces of excess luggage had been assessed at $85 and the next two pieces at $125. Most travelers show up with just one or two extra bags, so I’m guessing an increase in revenues for United.
Last pandora year on a trip from Dulles to an international location, both of our suitcases were just at the 50 lb. limit. But as we were headed international, they didn’t blink an eye. However, on our return home (we stopped in Hawaii for a few days), we did run into the person with the scales. Thank goodness we thought enough ahead to purchase another inexpensive piece of luggage for the excess. But I guess on our next trip, we will have to be sure to pack light . and not buy too many souvenirs. And this one is analog no worries about dead batteries.
Seems a genuine bargain to me, considering the fees associated with over weight bags. You’ve always been subject to an overage charge it’s been that way for years. (Well, okay, as Jim pointed out, it used to be 75 lbs, but the point is, there is a built in limit.)
It’s so people don’t overload/overweight the plane, and it’s called a Free Baggage Allowance.
United simply upped the overweight charge significantly, as well as reducing their Free Baggage Allowance to one bag. Crappy, for sure.
Now I didn’t say I liked it or that it’s a good trend I said it didn’t impact me much right now. I’m sure all the other airlines will follow suit. But for the most part, I’m an efficient packer I’ve rarely had to pack more than one large bag weighing more than 50 lbs anyway. If something heavy needs to get somewhere, I ship it on ahead of time, ’cause I certainly don’t trust baggage handlers not to lose things!
The basic charge overweight has always been there.
I tried to print URL’s to the major airlines luggage policies (including BA’s and Air Canada), but the board won’t seem to let me. Trust me there’s an overage fee for luggage over 50 lbs on just about every airline.
Again didn’t say I liked it, but it’s part of the crptastic process of flying these days.
It is not only United, but BA and Virgin as well, so forget about overseas travel. Look, I am a not so young lady who has enjoyed travelling independently. Because I can no longer lift the larger bags, I have been using two smaller bags which hook together for wheeling about and each of which I can lift separately if I have to. I checked bo pandora th of them through to leave me with only a small tote for the cabin.
I am not given to hyperbole, but I have honestly never in my entire life felt so disrespected by any company. If it was just United, I could avoid them, but BA and Virgin make it kind of difficult to fly overseas, too. Or you can pay the current price but take one less bag.