David Carr, of Baton Rouge, La., reaches for a bag at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport on  Dec. 28, 2006. Starting May 5, United Airlines will begin charging an additional fee for extra checked baggage.

File Photo

David Carr, of Baton Rouge, La., reaches for a bag at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport on Dec. 28, 2006. Starting May 5, United Airlines will begin charging an additional fee for extra checked baggage.

United limits free baggage

New fees for checking second bag start May 5


— Many United Airlines passengers flying at Yampa Valley Regional Airport will soon be subject to additional checked baggage fees, due to a policy change from the airline.

Starting with flights departing May 5, for nonrefundable economy-class tickets purchased after Feb. 4, customers may only check one free bag on domestic flights in the United States.

The second bag will be subject to a $25 service fee, and fliers may check up to four additional bags at $100 each. Prior rates for the third through sixth piece of luggage per passenger ranged from $85 to $125.

The change in baggage policy will net more than $100 million annually for United in cost savings and new revenue, according to a United Airlines news release.

International passengers will still be permitted to check two pieces of luggage for free, except on flights between the United States and Canada, which are subject to the new limits. High-ranking members of United's frequent flier programs may also be exempt.

Only about one in four passengers checks a second bag, according to the news release.

But the average ski season passenger at YVRA flies with at least two pieces of checked baggage, Airport Manager Dave Ruppel said.

YVRA accommodates between 2,500 and 3,000 passengers each day during ski season, and United Airlines flights have the capacity to bring in as many as 700 people, Ruppel said.

As much as half of YVRA's winter passenger traffic already travels with an additional piece of excess and possibly oversize baggage, to bring their skis or snowboard to Steamboat Springs, he said.

"People are frustrated, because they feel like they're paying more for something they're already paying a lot for," Ruppel said.

Ruppel expects that United's new baggage police will be negatively received by airline passenegers, as was charging passengers to use curbside check-in, a recent change made by Northwest Airlines.

YVRA's four other carriers - Continental, Northwest, American and Delta airlines - all allow two free bags for coach passengers on domestic flights.


Jean 9 years, 2 months ago

very good!!! lap dancing,o.k., but what about us women, what do we get?


STEMBOATwannabe 9 years, 2 months ago

This will come back to bite Steamboat.... All those ski clothes?? The skis?

Or it will be a boom for the rental business? The shipping companies - the ones that ship your luggage before you leave so your stuff is at your destination when you arrive. They could all find a niche.


fish 9 years, 2 months ago

Maybe we will all have to start dressing in layers, many many layers when we fly.


Glenn Hilley 9 years, 2 months ago


United has once again managed to find the bottom of the barrel when it comes to it's self-perpetuated, desperate search for profitability and reality.

Hey United, if the bag charge thing doesn't work, maybe charging for the time spent on the phone with one of your cranky, incompetent reservation agents is the answer, or here's a good one, maybe turnstiles at the end of the passenger ramp charging a fee to get on and off the plane. No, no, set up an in flight nursery where young mothers are hit with a surcharge for those pesky babies, or if that doesn't work how about a fee for taking a chin bumping dump in one of your comphy lavatories. If all else fails, how about a new Fee for Service that is a step up from the Mileage Plus or Star Alliance travelers:. You could put a second curtain in the back of the plane and call it the Mile Hi Club complete with a brass pole and lap dancing flight attendants. (Come on, we've all fantasized about it) Give it it's own marketing twist by having your FA's wear captains hats and epaulets and you could call it a Cap dance and resurrect that catchy "Fly the friendly skies" jingle in the back ground. Or, for us poor folk that can barely afford to fly because of your new bag surcharge we can fall back on what I like to call the Mile Hi Rub:Oh, that's right, you don't hand out the blankets anymore.


Gladys 9 years, 2 months ago

It is just going to make the carry on compartments more crowded. Ironic as I have been forced to check an extra bag nowadays for items that I am no longer permitted to carry on. I guess now I will carry on my clothes and check the rest. Flying used to be a convenience, but is rapidly becoming a hassle.


OnTheBusGus 9 years, 2 months ago

Many layers would be good, I usually freeze on the flight anyway! So I would be keeping warm AND keeping my baggage light! I love multi-tasking!


id04sp 9 years, 2 months ago

This only applies to economy tickets. The real cheap ones you can get compared to the higher priced versions.

It's a bitter pill to swallow, but if you look at the reality of the situation, paying $25 to check your skis is not such a huge deal.

Buy a ski bag that can hold two sets of skis. That's $25 for one passenger. Buy a "parachute bag" (canvas with a zipper, like the troops pack their gear in) and stuff all the ski clothes in that for the other passenger. That's another $25. Carry the boots on, or pack them in the parachute bag.

$25 is a beer and a burger in the airport waiting for your connection. It's cheaper than any rental deal you'll get for a week. It's not that much on top of an "economy" ticket when tickets bought later cost hundreds more.

I pretty much hate UAL, and cannot stand dealing with their customer service people in INDIA! but jetting into YVRA instead of Denver saves a lot more than $25 in the long run.

One of the guys at work has a saying his mother passed down to him: "A humble ride is better than a proud walk." UAL is one of the humblest rides you can get, but it's not as bad as it's going to get before the fuel crunch is over.


STEMBOATwannabe 9 years, 2 months ago

FYI They weigh your bags nowadays!! 50 pounds per bag... wonder if this will also be their policy for ski and boot bags??? It could get very pricy quickly.


JazzSlave 9 years, 2 months ago

I applaud some of the new restrictions. I was getting tired of carry-ons the size of Buicks.


useyourvoice 9 years, 2 months ago

Most of the tourists I see around the base area would be better off leaving their 10 year old ski gear at home anyhow. If you are spending a thousand dollars on a ski vacation, buck and purchase some modern threads that fit your droopy derriere!


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