Alaska Airlines And Horizon Air Announce Service Fee Changes

4/22/2010 5:00 am (PT)

Seattle - Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air today announced changes to their service fees, effective for travel on or after June 16 for tickets purchased beginning May 1.

Checked bags and baggage service guarantee

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 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," said 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, Mileage Plan MVP and MVP Gold members, and passengers traveling to or from Mexico City and Guadalajara, 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.

Unaccompanied minors

Alaska and Horizon will lower the fees they charge for accommodating unaccompanied minors those passengers ages 5 to 12 traveling without an adult (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.

Unaccompanied minor service fees are waived for children who have attained Mileage Plan MVP or MVP Gold status. Children below age 5 are not allowed to travel without an adult.

Same-day confirmed travel

Customers who wish to change their flight within six hours of their desired departure will be charged a $25 same-day confirmed 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.

First class passengers, Mileage Plan MVP Gold members and passengers traveling on unrestricted full (Y) fares still may get a confirmed seat at no charge for another flight departing on the same day, if seats are available, or stand by at no charge, if the flight is full. Passengers traveling between Seattle and Portland or Spokane can pay the $25 same-day confirmed fee, when seats are available, or stand by for free.

Instant ticketing and refund policy

Effective May 12, customers 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.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 and 2009 North America Airline Satisfaction StudiesSM. For reservations, visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at alaskaair.com/newsroom.