Be sure to check up on checked-bag fees

The pockets of holiday season travelers flying within the United States this year might get picked by the domestic airlines’ latest trend: charging for luggage.

All but two of nine major national airlines flying out of San Francisco International Airport charge up to $25 for the first bag fliers check, and in a couple of cases a third bag can cost as much as $100.

Southwest allows the first two bags for free, then charges $50 for the third. JetBlue checks the first one for free, then charges $30 for the second.

Furthermore, airlines sometimes charge per pound for bags that outweigh 50 pounds.

“The rule of thumb, I say, is about 20 kilos [about 44 pounds],” said travel agent Glenn Talken from AirTreks, which specializes in international trips. “And the cheaper the airline, the more likely it is they’re going to charge to check the bags.’’

Most airlines offer to waive the baggage fee if the traveler buys an upgrade, and two of them — Delta and Continental — knock off $2 for checking in online.

Talken also said he refers all his clients to the website www.luggage limits.com, which allows them to enter an airline and then spells out the rules for them accordingly.

And do not try to sneak on with two carry-ons. Most of the airlines now only allow one plus a personal handbag.

Despite the increasing fees, SFO spokesman Mike McCarron said traveler numbers this year have increased by 4 to 5 percent.

Sky-high for the holidays

Travelers need to include the cost of getting to the airport, parking at SFO and checking baggage in their holiday budgets.

Parking: $14 per day

  • Can use FasTrak

United:

  • First bag: $25
  • Second bag: $35
  • Carry-on: 1

Southwest:

  • First two bags: Free
  • Bags three-nine: $50
  • Carry-on: 1
  • Virgin America:

  • Bag one through 10: $25
  • Carry-on: 1
  • Delta:

  • First bag: $23 online, $25 in person
  • Second bag: $32 online, $35 in person
  • Carry-on: 1
  • JetBlue:

  • First bag: free
  • Second bag: $30
  • Third bag: $75
  • Carry-on: 1
  • Alaska:

  • First through third bag: $20
  • Four and up: $50
  • Carry-on: 1
  • Continental:

  • First bag: $23 online, $25 in person
  • Second bag: $32 online, $35 in person
  • Carry-on: 1
  • US Airways:

  • First bag: $25
  • Second bag: $35
  • Third-plus: $100
  • Carry on: 1
  • American Airlines:

  • First bag: $25
  • Second bag: $25
  • Third-plus: $100
  • Sixth-plus: $150
  • Carry-on: 1
  • Source: Airlines, SFO

    kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

    Bay Area NewsLocalSan FranciscoSFO

    Just Posted

    San Francisco health experts recommend that pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a booster shot. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
    What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

    Questions regarding COVID-19 booster shots for pregnant people have been pouring in… Continue reading

    Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
    Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

    ‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

    Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
    Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

    ‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

    The so-called “twindemic” that public health officials in California and elsewhere warned about last year — the combined threat of influenza and COVID-19 — was largely eased by the wide use of face masks, physical distancing and reduced travel, experts say. But their concerns are back this year. (Shutterstock)
    COVID and the flu: Is a ‘twindemic’ threat lurking again?

    ‘Because of so little disease last year, population immunity is likely lower’

    49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hopes to return to the field this weekend to lead San Francisco against the Colts. (Photo courtesy of 49ers)
    NFL Week 7 picks: Niners face crucial matchup against the Colts

    San Francisco could join Seattle on the brink of irrelevancy in the NFC West with another loss

    Most Read