Airlines have made a lot of money charging for checked bags. For instance, 2014 saw a collection of $2.6 billion for the airlines with this fee! While most airlines will give their credit card holders a pass on at least one piece of luggage, Alaska Airlines has long been one that did not offer that as a perk.
The Game of Baggage Fees
Alaska Airlines: 1
Well, according to their recent press release, that is no longer the case for Alaska Airlines! All Visa Signature Alaska Airline cardholders will receive 1 bag for themselves and also one each for up 6 on the same reservation! That is a great addition for travelers on Alaska Airlines, especially since they are so on top of getting your bag to you at the carousel as it is.
Here are some details about this latest perk:
- Available to the primary cardholder and up to 6 companions traveling on the same reservation
- Payment with the card is not required to get the free bag
- Only for Visa Signature cardholders (the lower card carries no annual fee)
- Allow 2-3 weeks for new cardholders to have this benefit applied to them
This is a great move by Alaska to bring their credit card more inline with other co-branded credit cards. If you do not currently have an Alaska Airlines credit card, you can apply through this link and earn 25,000 miles and $100 statement credit (the credit is earned after spending $1,000 in 3 months).
HT: Travel Codex
At the same time, JetBlue has just started their new policy and fare bundles where they are charging for bags on the cheapest of tickets. This leaves only Southwest as a US airline that does not charge for any bags (JetBlue only used to let you have 1 bag free but that was still 1 bag more than everyone else, except Southwest!).
This applies as of yesterday so it is something that you will have to expect on all future JetBlue flights. If you want to avoid that, you can purchase one of the fare bundles that will give you a bag (as well as other things like some difference in fees for change/cancellations and extra point for travel).
The problem is that the $40 annual fee JetBlue card does not give the cardholder a free bag. This card’s contract with Amex ends at the end of the year so it is likely that it will have that perk when it emerges with Barclay, but still, for now, that $40 annual fee is not really helping JetBlue customers when it comes to checked bags.
In this little game of baggage fees, Alaska comes out ahead with the addition of a free checked bag for credit cardholders. On the other side, JetBlue loses by going to a structure where they charge for all bags and they do not give credit cardholders that baggage waiver.
The only thing I wish would work with Alaska is that you get 1 bag for each Alaska Airlines credit card you hold. Because I do have quite a few of them… 🙂