United Airlines offers checked-bag pass

October 6, 2009 3:34:01 AM PDT
Program waives checked baggage charges in exchange for an annual subscription fee.

United is trying to offer an alternative to those extra bags fees.

United Airlines will waive charges on checked bags in exchange for an annual subscription fee of $249.

Premier Baggage allows a customer to check two standard bags without paying extra.

The subscription fee also covers baggage charges for up to eight people traveling on the same confirmation number.

"Premier Baggage pays for itself after just a few trips for an individual and possibly after a single trip for a family," the Chicago-based carrier said Monday in a statement.

Airline fees have proliferated as carriers struggle for revenue amid sharply reduced global business travel and lower fares.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, baggage fees brought in more than $670 million for U.S. airlines in the second quarter, a 276 percent increase from a year earlier.

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