Other Airlines Charging Peak Pricing For Checked Bag

by SharonKurheg

You may recall that Alaska Airlines raised their checked bag rate back in January. It was probably no surprise that American, jetBlue, United and Delta soon followed in the 2 months after that. And no wonder – it’s a sneaky way for airlines to make more money but not pay as much taxes on said money than if they charged more for seats.

Anyway, the dust settled and, like most times that companies raise prices, passengers’ rage diminished and they got used to it.

But then jetBlue pulled a fast one – earlier this month, they made ANOTHER change to their baggage fees. It wasn’t bad enough that if you bought a Blue/Blue Basic/Blue Extra ticket you had to pay $35 for your first domestic checked bag and $50 for your second one (or, respectively, $45/$60 within 24 hours of departure). With their “new and improved” peak pricing, you could look forward to even higher fees, to the tune of $40/$60 or $50/$70, respectively, during “peak season.” Here’s a breakdown of all the prices (including international).

When is jetBlue’s peak season?

a plane flying in the skyjetBlue refers to “peak season” as:

  • 4/11-4/29/24 (read: spring break for a lot of the country)
  • 6/20-9/3/24 (summer)
  • 11/21-12/2/24 (Thanksgiving)
  • 12/19/24-1/6/25 (Christmas/New Year)
  • 2/13-2/24/25 (President’s Day, winter break, etc.)
  • 4/3-4/28/25 (spring break, Easter, etc.)

Happily, to date, no other U.S. airline has decided to copy jetBlue’s new “peak pricing” structure.

I was still curious how they decided to make such an addition. I mean sure, some theme parks offer a more “fluid” pricing structure, where ticket prices cost more in the summer, over the holidays, etc. Cruise lines are famous to make prices higher during more popular cruising seasons. And hotels are well known to charge more during the summer. But I didn’t think such pricing had ever been heard of in the airline industry.

Was jetBlue trying to be an innovator?

Well, if they were, they failed miserably. 😉 (I’m just saying that in jest – I’m sure they were well aware of the following)

Turns out there ARE other airlines that charge peak prices – I just hadn’t looked far out enough. Hungary’s Wizz Air and Mexico’s Volaris have both been doing it for years.

Wizz Air

a white text on a pink and blue backgroundWizz Air divides the year into Peak Season and Low Season, and checked baggage fees are calculated based on that, whether you paid online, through the Wizz Call Center or at the airport, and the weight of your checked-in bag.

For 2024-into-2025, they consider High Season to be:

  • Easter 2024 peak: March 16, 2024 – April 15, 2024
  • Summer 2024 peak: June 12, 2024 – September 27, 2024
  • Christmas 2024 peak: December 15, 2024 – January 10, 2025

These are how the prices run:

a screenshot of a flight schedule


a white airplane in the skyVolaris has High Season (January, April, July, August and December) and Low Season (February, March, May, June, September, October and November). Most of their prices don’t fluctuate as much as jetBlue’s and Wizz Air’s:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

There may well be other airlines who charge seasonal/peak time fees for checked bags and I just didn’t find them.

What can we do about this?

Frankly, as long as what they’re doing is legal, there’s little we can do about the likes of jetBlue, Wizz Air and Volaris (and, who knows, maybe other airlines too) from charging seasonal fees for checked bags. So the options are simply to not fly those airlines during peak/high season, or suck it up and pay it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And let’s keep our fingers crossed that no other U.S. airline decided to start getting into this “seasonal” pricing shenanigans, especially for something that, for decades, they offered for free.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

David Miller April 23, 2024 - 2:52 pm

In light of this current, ever escalating price increase for baggage fees, Southwest looks better and better. To all of those who hate money – go ahead and enjoy the latest rip off targeted at those of you who are too ignorant to spend wisely. Just how dumb are you morons?


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