Alaska Air Group sister carriers Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are reducing most of their service fees, effective for travel on or after June 16 for tickets purchased beginning May 1.
From May 1 (traveling from June 16 onwards), Alaska and Horizon will charge $20 for each of a passenger’s first three checked bags. This represents a $5 increase for the first checked bag, a $5 decrease for the second, and a $30 decrease for the third. Passengers checking two bags will continue to pay the same amount as they do today, while passengers checking three bags will pay $30 less. In addition, the airlines will cut the cost of the fourth through 10th checked bag, from $100 per bag to $50.
The carriers also are changing their baggage service guarantee from 25 minutes to 20 minutes. Customers whose luggage is not at the baggage claim within 20 minutes after their flight parks at the gate will receive their choice of 2,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles or $20 off a future flight.
“Alaska and Horizon continue to have lower baggage service fees than most other airlines and are the only carriers to offer a baggage service guarantee,” says Joe Sprague, Alaska’s vice president of marketing.
Charges for the first two bags are waived for customers confirmed in first class at the time of check in, MVP and MVP Gold members of the two airlines’ Mileage Plan frequent flyer program, and passengers traveling to or from Mexico City and Guadalajara in Mexico. Customers traveling solely within the state of Alaska and military personnel on active duty are not charged for their first three checked bags. The airlines have no plans to institute a carry-on baggage service fee.
Additionally, Alaska and Horizon will lower the fees they charge for accommodating unaccompanied minors ― those passengers ages 5 to 12 traveling without an adult (the service is optional for children ages 13 to 17). Customers will pay a $25 fee per child for direct flights and $50 per child for connecting flights within the Alaska/Horizon network. This is a reduction from the current $75 fee.
The two airlines will waive unaccompanied-minor service fees for children who have attained Mileage Plan MVP or MVP Gold status. Children below age 5 are not allowed to travel without an adult.
However, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are joining the ranks of U.S. airlines which have done away with free same-day standby service for most customers wishing to take a different flight on the day of travel from the flight they originally booked and paid for.
From May 1, customers of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air who wish to change their flights within six hours of departure will be charged a $25 same-day confirmed-seat fee, if space is available on the requested flight. Those wishing to change their flight outside of that six-hour window must pay the difference in fare plus any applicable change fee. Under the previous policy, these customers could pay this $25 same-day confirmed fee or stand by for free.
However, some customers will be allowed to change flights and get a confirmed seat on the day of departure at no charge for a flight departing on that calendar day (provided there are seats available on the new flight): first class passengers, Mileage Plan MVP Gold members, passengers traveling on unrestricted full (Y) fares, and passengers traveling between Seattle and Portland or Spokane. If the flight they wish to change to does not have seats available, these passengers can stand by for free.
In another policy change, from May 12 customers of the two carriers will no longer be able to hold reservations for 24 hours without payment when booking directly with Alaska or Horizon. The airlines will, however, offer customers one free change or a full refund within 24 hours of purchase on all tickets. A 24-hour hold will continue to be available for reservations made through EasyBiz (the airlines’ corporate online booking tool), Alaska Airlines Vacations and groups.