Once upon a time, travelers with frequent flyer status outside of the the airline’s own Mileage Plus program had wonderful bag-checking privileges on United Air Lines. Star Alliance Gold members could check up to three seventy-pound bags for free, and silver members could check one. Now, Gold members can check only one fifty pound bag, and silver members can’t check anything without paying.
This doesn’t violate Star Alliance requirements: member airlines only have to offer one additional checked bag to members. Since most of us peons only get one checked bag on most United flights, zero plus one is one.
The change doesn’t affect members of United’s own Mileage Plus frequent-flyer program, of course. Just members of other frequent-flyer programs in the Star Alliance. “United is undermining the Alliance that it helped to establish in 1997,” grumbles Matthew Klint of Upgrd, and he has a point. Earlier this year, United decided that travel on other Alliance airlines only counted toward point totals as far as United is concerned if passengers booked the flights on those other airlines through United.
United Airlines Reduces Free Checked Baggage Allowance for Star Alliance Gold and Silver Members [Upgrd] (Thanks, Thomas!)