United has come out with their latest offering in the ever creative world of airline fees: the all-you-can-eat plan for checked baggage. For $249 a year, United will allow you to check up to two bags (normally $20 and $30 for the 1st and 2nd bags) for a whole year. Any hangers-on (up to eight) in the same reservation also benefit from the deal. Think of how much the Eight-is-Enough family would have saved had this been around in their day.
It is a smart move for United, particularly if it builds any loyalty among travelers who may not fly enough to gain Mileage Plus elite status. And maybe those same people, after buying the option, will even pay a little more to fly United because they have some built in savings vs. the other carriers.
And if you are checking a surfboard or flying with gold ingots, you’ll still have to pay the usual extra charges for large and heavy bags.