If you were wondering how long it would take Delta and American to match the increase in checked bag fees started by JetBlue and United, we now have an answer. Twenty-six days.
In less than a month, both Delta and American introduced higher fees for checked bags, matching the increases by JetBlue and United. And just like the other airline increases, these fees were implemented with no notice, taking effect the day of the announcement.
Here’s the timeline of the increases:
- August 27 – JetBlue announces increase of first checked bag to $30 and second checked bag fee to $40
- August 31 – United raises checked bag fees to match JetBlue
- September 21 – Delta matches increased first and second check bags
- September 22 – American joins the other three airlines in raising fees
While you’d think an airline might see a chance to keep prices lower as a competitive advantage, it appears that they only see it as an opportunity to increase their own fees because someone else has already done it.
At least one airline sees not charging for checked bags as a marketing opportunity
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) September 21, 2018
I’m disappointed in how quickly Delta and American followed United and JetBlue’s lead. It used to be that if one airline made a change, the others would wait to see how that worked out before implementing it themselves. Did it affect their business? Were they getting more customers, or perhaps the same or less than before?
Nowadays it seems as they’re afraid of not following another airline’s example as being non-responsive to industry trends. The one assumption that makes is that one company making a change is a trend and not just a bad business decision. It almost seems as all airline executives graduated from this prestigious school.
You’re still able to avoid paying the fee for the first checked bag if you’re a elite frequent flyer of the airline or have their co-brand credit card. Now that a checked bag for two people will cost $140 per round trip, paying $95 for the annual fee on a credit card doesn’t seem like such a bad deal.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary