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United Airlines implements New Checked Bag Policy for Domestic Flights

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United Airlines has made two changes to its domestic checked bag policy. The service fee to check one bag for domestic travel will be US$15 each way and the fee to check three or more bags, overweight bags or items that require special handling will increase from US$100 to US$125 or from US$200 to US$250, depending on the item.

These changes apply to customers who purchase a ticket on or after June 13, 2008, for travel within the U.S. and to/from Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on or after August 18, 2008. The US$15 service fee does not apply to customers who are flying in United First or United Business or who have premier status with United or Star Alliance.

With record-breaking fuel prices, we must pursue new revenue opportunities, while continuing to offer competitive fares, by tailoring our products and services around what our customers value most and are willing to pay for, said John Tague, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

United estimates that the new US$15 service fee will apply to one out of three customers, and the potential revenue from baggage handling service fees, including those for checking a first and second bag, will be approximately US$275 million a year.

The fee to check a second bag is US$25 each way and applies to customers who purchase Economy tickets for travel exclusively within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada, and who do not have premier status in Mileage Plus or Star Alliance.

For itineraries that include international flights (except Canada), checking a first and second bag will continue to be free, and the cost to check more than two bags or items that are overweight or require special handling varies by destination.

Customers may pay these service fees at an airport Easy Check-In kiosk with a credit card or at the check-in counter with a credit card, check or cash. To ensure smooth operations at the airport, later this year, United will have developed the ability for customers to pay for baggage fees via United's website when they check-in online.

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