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Horizon and Alaska change service fees

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air have announced changes to their service fees, which will come into effect on 1 May for travel on or after 16 June.

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. In addition, the airlines will cut the cost of the fourth through to 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," declared 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 travelling to or from Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico. Customers travelling 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.

For Unaccompanied Minors (UMs), Alaska and Horizon will lower the fees they charge to $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. UMs 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.

Customers who wish to change their flight within six hours of 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.

Effective 12 May, 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.

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