United Airlines hikes checked bag fees, following lead of American Airlines, JetBlue

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A United Airlines flight headed to Los Angeles from New Jersey was diverted to Chicago after the crew reported a safety issue Wednesday morning.

United Airlines announced Friday it is raising baggage fees, following a similar move earlier this week by American Airlines and JetBlue.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, United Airlines said that they are raising checked bag fees for customers traveling in North America.

Economy class passengers on domestic United Airlines flights will now pay an additional $5, raising the cost for their first checked bag to $40.

The fee for a second checked bag will also increase to $45 in advance online, and $50 at the airport.

The new policy is effective for tickets purchased on or after Saturday, Feb. 24, the airline said.

RELATED: Airlines earned $33B from bag fees last year, report finds

The Chicago-based airlines said that they have not raised their bag fees for fours years.

United Chase credit card holders, MileagePlus Premier members, active military members and customers traveling in premium cabins can still check a bag for free, the airline said.

The airlines noted that they are updating all of their mainline aircraft with new, larger bins designed to hold more carry-on bags.

The news comes as American Airlines, Alaska Air and JetBlue all recently raised baggage fees.

RELATED: American, JetBlue raise baggage fees; here's how much airlines charge for bags

According to an annual report from IdeaWorks Co. and CarTrawler, the top 20 global airlines made more than $33 billion in revenue from bag fees last year.

Baggage fees, according to the report, are seen as a "significant component of ancillary revenue" to help carriers offset other costs. 

In 2023, the $33 billion accounted for about 4.1% of global airline revenue in 2023. It was also an increase of 15% from the $29 billion the companies collected in 2022.