* UAL boosts bag check fees
* Says matches rivals’ price hikes
CHICAGO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - United Airlines, a unit of UAL Corp UAUA.O, on Wednesday raised the fees it charges to check baggage, following fee hikes by rivals Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and Continental Airlines (CAL.N).
Starting Thursday, UAL will charge $25 to check a first bag at the airport and $35 for a second bag on flights within the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. For bags checked online it is now $23 for a first bag and $32 for a second.
This is a $5 increase for airport bag checks and a $6 increase for online bag checks.
The fees apply to passengers who purchase their tickets on or after Jan. 14 for travel on or after Jan. 21.
“Today we matched the move initiated by other airlines,” said UAL spokeswoman Robin Urbanski.
The fee increases are the latest this month by U.S. airlines trying to recover from the economic recession. Carriers rely heavily on sales of ancillary revenues earned from sales of goods and services to passengers.
Southwest Airlines (LUV.N), which boasts its “bags fly free” policy, has been a notable exception to the trend.
UAL shares were up $1.21, or 9.5 percent, at $13.90 on Nasdaq in late trading on Wednesday. (Reporting by Kyle Peterson; Editing by Gary Hill)