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Alaska Airlines increases the fee to check a suitcase

Posted: July 9, 2013 - 12:47pm  |  Updated: July 10, 2013 - 12:05am

Alaska Airlines is raising its fee for checking a suitcase to $25, bringing it in line with most major airlines.

For tickets purchased on or after Oct. 30, the Seattle-based airline will charge passengers $25 each for the first and second checked bags. Additional bags will cost $75. Alaska currently charges $20 per bag for the first three suitcases.

The airline will keep its unique baggage service guarantee. If a passenger’s bags are not at the baggage claim area within 20 minutes of the plane parking at the gate, Alaska will give them a $20 discount code for use on a future flight or 2,000 bonus frequent flier miles. The discount will increase to $25 and the miles to 2,500 on Oct. 30.

The time remains the same, according to spokeswoman Marianne Lindsey.

This change will affect most travelers for certain, but does not completely apply to Club 49 members. For those members, the first two bags will remain free, as long as their reservation includes a stop at one Alaskan city. The third checked bag will still cost $75.

Delta Air Lines is the only major airline to offer a rebate of baggage fees but only for bags that are delayed 12 hours or more.

Alaska is also increasing the fee to change tickets to $125. Currently, Alaska charges $75 if the change is made online and $100 if the change is made through a call center. Passengers who change tickets 60 or more days from the day of travel will not incur any fee at all.

American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines and US Airways all increased change fees on domestic tickets from $150 to $200 in May.

Alaska Airlines Group Inc. expects the higher fees to result in $50 million of additional revenue each year. Alaska shares rose 7.7 percent Tuesday, closing at $55.93.

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