United Airline Checked Baggage Fees Deal

United Airline Checked Baggage Fees Deal Is a Smart Move

Kudos to United.  The airline announced yesterday a new checked baggage fees deal.  Pay United $249, and you can check two bags for free on every United and United Express flights you take for a year.

Frequent flyers are hopping mad at all the new fees airlines are imposing.  They’re also realistic that the fees aren’t going away any time soon, if ever.  However, the frequent flyer wants and expects to be treated like the best customers they are.

This deal is a good compromise.  The airline still gets its revenue, but the frequent traveler reduces their effective fees for the year.

It’s also a bit strategic on United’s part.  Customers that travel the most are becoming less motivated at racking up frequent flyer miles.  They already have more miles than they’re likely to utilize. Plus, the airlines keep lowering the worth of the miles by increasing the number of miles needed for a free flight and adding fees to redeem the awards.

United’s new checked bag offer will give the frequent traveler something to think about before booking a similarly priced flight on another airline.  The extra checked bag fees on the other airline could make a lower base ticket price actually higher than flying with United.  It’s a subtle indirect move at gaining more loyalty from the best customers.

So is this all-you-can-eat check deal good business for you?

Lets do some simple math to decide if you should take United up on their offer.  United charges $20 to check your first bag, and $30 for the second.  That’s each flight, not per trip.

If you usually check one bag, $249/$20 = 12.5.  That means if you’re planning to take 13 or more flights in a year and check a bag each time, you should pay the $249.

If you usually check two bags, $249/$50 = 5.  With two bags checked, pay the $249 if you’re going to take more than 5 flights.

Lets get a little more fancy.  Say you check no bags, one bag, and two bags on an equal amount of flights.  The average of$0, $20, and $50 is $23.33.  $250/$23.33 is 10.7.  In this case you’d need to take more than 11 flights in a year to get your monies worth.

All you business travelers passed algebra and the SAT, so we’ll leave it to you to figure out the flight cut-off for your individual scenario.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: