Huffpost Travel

United Baggage Fees Now Payable Through Yearly 'Subscription'

Posted: Updated:
United Airlines recently announced yearly subscriptions flyers can purchase to pay baggage fees and other perks ahead of time. In this photo, passenger Stan Kruse waits at the United Airlines ticket counter at Denver International Airport Friday, June 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) | AP

In a bid to reduce the ill will passengers undoubtedly feel every time they fork over cash for baggage fees, United Airlines has adopted a new approach: charge passengers for bags, but only do it once a year.

United refers to them as "annual subscriptions," and per a company release, for $349 each year, passengers can "pre-pay" baggage charges, thus allowing flyers to check bags "for free."

"The Economy Plus and checked baggage subscriptions offer our customers more of the comfort and convenience they value year round," Scott Wilson, United's vice president of merchandising and e-commerce, said in a release. "We are pleased that, as we launch these services, we are able to provide new options for customers to tailor their travel experiences."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the subscriptions are riddled with hidden costs. Flyers seeking to check two bags will have to pay $50 more each year. Want to fly globally? That's an additional $450. There's also a one-time "initiation fee" of $50, which, for the time being, United has waived.

Despite the extra costs, for heavy travelers, the subscription model could very well be worthwhile. Given United's typical baggage fee of about $25 per flight, frequent flyers could pay off the yearly $349 fee in seven round-trip flights.

United has also applied the subscription model to several of their other services, including a $499 "Economy Plus" annual fee for travelers who would like more legroom and a "United Club" membership for $500 that grants access to United's club lounges.

Related on HuffPost:

Airline Fees
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

United offers subscriptions for baggage fees, legroom - Yahoo ...

The Latest Thing In Airline Fees: United's Annual Baggage ... - Forbes

United takes airline fees to a new altitude- MSN Money

United Airlines: 'Subscriptions' offer a year's worth of fees

United is first to let you subscribe to a year's worth of bag fees

United Continental to Offer Annual Subscription Plans for Economy-Plus ...

United Airlines offering "subscriptions" for some services

Want extra baggage or legroom? United Airlines 'subscriptions' start at $349

United Airlines Now Selling "Subscriptions" for Better Seats, Free Baggage

United: 'Subscriptions' offer a year's worth of fees - USA Today