Alaska Airlines Increases Change Fees and Checked Bag Fees

The livery of Alaska Airlines aircraft brightens up an otherwise dreary day at the international airport between Seattle and Tacoma. Photograph by FlyerTalk member HIDDY. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by HIDDY.


If it were not for the increase in revenue and if I were paranoid, I would swear that airlines based in the United States are conspiring against me.
Fees imposed by Alaska Airlines for itinerary changes and cancellations — as well as for check bags — will increase as of October 30, 2013…
…but before we get to the details — in what has now become a tradition here at The Gate with regard to the increases in change fees of AirTran Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Delta Air Lines — I am obliged to present to you yet another song parody:

Alaska — Why?

All the passengers on your planes
Were Alaska Airlines fans
Increased fees — are you insane
Just for us to change our plans?
The raises in fees
Just answer me, please
Alaska — why?

All this time you did not follow trends
Marching to a different beat
All you care about is what we spend
On top of that coach class seat
The raises in fees
Just answer me, please
Alaska — why?

You can say the revenue
Is something that you need
And I am forced to pay extra to you
But have you thought that raised fees
Can be perceived as greed
Whether or not that perception is true?

All checked bags are subject to a fee
Unless elite or first class
And now some are higher, I can see
What a real pain in the —
Don’t ask for favors
Don’t request waivers
Alaska — why?

Yesterday you went the extra mile
Now that view has gone away
You have killed the spirit of your style
Now my bags you have to weigh
The raises in fees
I’m feelin’ the squeeze
Alaska — why?
Alaska — why?

I offer no apology to re-writing the lyrics to Don’t Ask Me Why, which is the title of a song written and recorded by Billy Joel in 1980 for the album Glass Houses on the Columbia Records label:

Unlike the feeble statement I posted for AirTran Airways, there actually is a bright side here: unlimited changes to your itinerary will be allowed free of charge up until 60 days prior to ticketed flight departure.
While I am not going to exactly run out and celebrate in sheer jubilation, that policy is indeed better than the policies of the other airlines based in the United States pertaining to change fees.
For your convenience, I reconfigured the charts to enable easy comparisons between the current fees and the fees which will be effective as of October 29, 2013. The new fees are highlighted in bold type.

Change and Cancellation Fees
Regular Passenger First Class (Purchased) Passenger First Class (Award) Passenger First Class (Upgrade) Passenger Mileage Plan MVP Mileage Plan MVP Gold or 75K
Effective as of October 29, 2013
for changes made less than 60 days prior to ticketed flight departure
$125 Free $125 $125 $125 Free
Current Fee $75 – $100 Free $75 – $100 $75 – $100 $75 – $100 Free

 

Baggage Fees listed are for one-way travel Carryon Bag Checked Bag #1 Checked Bag #2 Checked Bags #3 Checked Bags #4+ Gate Check Over- weight Bag
(51-100 lbs)
Oversize Bag (63-80 linear inches) Oversize Bag (80-115 linear inches)
Standard Fee Free
Free
$25
$20
$25
$20
$75
$20
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Club 49™ Member Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
$75
$20
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Elite Level Mileage Plan™ members Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
$75
$20 per bag
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
American AAdvantage Elite Level members Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
$75
$20 per bag
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Delta SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion Elite Level members Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
$75
$20 per bag
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Delta SkyMiles Silver Elite Level members Free
Free
Free
Free
$25
$20 per bag
$75
$20 per bag
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Passengers confirmed in First Class at the time of check-in Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
$75
$20 per bag
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Passengers traveling wholly in the state of Alaska Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Passengers traveling to/from Guadalajara or Mexico City between Jan. 16 and Nov. 14 Free
Free
Free
Free
$25
$20
$75
$20
$75 per bag
$50 per bag
$25
$25
$75
$50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Passengers traveling to/from Guadalajara or Mexico City between Nov. 15 and Jan. 15 Free
Free
Free
Free
$25
$20
Overweight, oversize, or excess baggage will not be accepted for travel to or from Guadalajara or Mexico City between November 15 and January 15.
Overweight, oversize, or excess baggage will not be accepted for travel to or from Guadalajara or Mexico City between November 15 and January 15.
Active Duty United States Military Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free up to 5, then $75
Free up to 5, then $50
$25
$25
Free up to 70 lbs, then $75
Free up to 70 lbs, then $50
$75
$50
$75
$75
United States Military Dependents on Travel Orders Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free up to 5, then $75
Free up to 5, then $50
$25
$25
Free up to 70 lbs, then $75
Free up to 70 lbs, then $50
$75
$50
$75
$75
Fees listed are for one-way travel Carryon Bag Checked Bag #1 Checked Bag #2 Checked Bags #3 Checked Bags #4+ Gate Check Over- weight Bag
(51-100 lbs)
Oversize Bag (63-80 linear inches) Oversize Bag (80-115 linear inches)

 
Unlike the reaction of almost universal disdain pertaining to the increases of change fees on other airlines based in the United States, FlyerTalk members are mixed in terms of their thoughts on this announcement in policy regarding fees imposed by Alaska Airlines for itinerary changes and cancellations as well as for check bags.
I really hope this is the last of changes in change fees for a long time. Trust me when I say that I am not channeling the Pet Shop Boys and the late Dusty Springfield when I ask: What have I done to deserve this?

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