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Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air, have rolled out some new baggage policies that promise to make travels with them a bit less stressful and a little less expensive – depending on how many bags you check. Passengers who fly either airline on a ticket booked on or after May 1 will pay a flat $20 fee for each of the first three bags checked. That means if you check one bag, you’ll pay $5 more than you would have before; if you check two bags, you’ll be paying the same amount; and if you check three bags, you’ll be paying $30 less than your untimely fellow passengers who may have booked their flights prior to May 1. Additionally, checking bags four through 10 will now cost you $50 per bag, as compared to the $100 it used to cost.
These price changes, however, are hardly the highlight of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air’s new baggage policies. The airlines have also one-upped their old baggage service guarantee implemented last year. Now, instead of guaranteeing that you will receive your baggage within 25 minutes of your plane parking at the gate, they’re promising 20 minutes. But don’t expect the same $25 credit for your next flight or 2,500 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan bonus miles that you used you get when your bag was late – now you’ll get a $20 credit or 2,000 miles. But we deem it only fair that if you’re waiting 5 minutes less, you’re compensated $5 (or 500 miles) less.
Best case scenario for Savvy Flyers with this new policy? If you’re not in a rush to leave the airport, cross your fingers and hope that it takes your bags 21 minutes to show up – that way, once you get your credit, it’ll be like you didn’t pay for your baggage to be checked at all.