UPDATE: It was a glitch! Thank goodness. From United “We had a temporary issue impacting prices shown on the baggage calculator. This didn’t impact the actual price customers were charged, and this customer should have been charged the correct fee of $35 first bag and $45 second. We corrected the error at the end of March.”
Yesterday, I wrote a post titled Is American Airlines Out of Their Minds? The topic addressed within is completely different from the topic of this post but now, it looks like American’s biggest competitor is out of their minds, too. Why? For charging a reader three times the amount for the same size/weight checked bag for his return flight. Thanks to reader “D” for sending me screenshots of his itinerary and United’s insane baggage charge. Here are the details.
“Thank you for all of your helpful information. I catch you on Leo’s show each weekend. I have an upcoming trip to Chicago and sprung for 1 class up from Basic so that I could bring on a carry-on “free” of charge. I do not plan to check a bag but this jumped out at me on the itinerary. If I were to check a bag it looks like they would charge me 3 times as much to bring it home!”
First of all, I appreciate you appreciate my information. BTW: For those who don’t listen to AM radio or podcasts, I’m on Leo (Laporte’s) show is called The Tech Guy and I’m a guest every Saturday at 12:30pmPT. You can watch/listen to it here.
Now to the question: I thought “D” must have been mistaken but the screenshot (below) clearly shows he’s not. United is indeed planning on charging him three times the amount for a checked bag for the return portion of his San Diego to Chicago flight next month.
“D”s flight details
Thu, May 06, 2021 1747 San Diego, CA, US (SAN) to Chicago, IL, US (ORD)
Sun, May 09, 2021 2154 Chicago, IL, US (ORD) to San Diego, CA, US (SAN)
As you can see below and in the screenshot above, these are the baggage allowance and charges for this itinerary
Thu, May 06, 2021
San Diego, CA, US (SAN) to Chicago, IL, US (ORD – O’Hare) $45 USD
Sun, May 09, 2021
Chicago, IL, US (ORD – O’Hare) to San Diego, CA, US (SAN) $150 USD
$45 for one checked bag is already ridiculously high but $150 for the same bag, weight and route is almost criminal. Do you agree? Have you seen anything like this before?
I reached out to United for comment but haven’t heard back yet so I will update the post when I do (UPDATE: I heard back from them and their response is at the top). But I tried booking the same flights on United.com, which is where “D” purchased his flights. Incidentally, it’s now three times the price he paid 10 days ago and I don’t see any information on baggage rates. And I’m not willing to book the flight to find out, even though I can get my money back within 24 hours; it’s just one more thing to forget and it’s a headache I don’t need).
But there is no Basic Economy being offered on this route so that’s not why. The only thing I can think is that maybe United is testing some new checked baggage rates by charging more on busier days since he’s returning on a Sunday, which is typically the busiest travel day of the week.
So that brings me back to my original question: Is United Airlines out of their minds?