Even though oil prices have fallen below $100 a barrel, United Airlines says the cost of jet fuel is still wrecking havoc on its budget. As a result, the airline has announced it is increasing the fee for a second piece of checked luggage from $25 to $50 effective September 16, 2008.

The fee for the first piece of checked luggage remains $15, the airline said.

The new fee will apply to passengers traveling on an Economy ticket or an Economy award ticket. Passengers with first class or business class tickets will not be charged the fee. Members of United's various rewards programs, including Global Services, Mileage Plus, Premier Executive, Premier, or Premier Associate, are also exempt.

United said it will waive the increase for active duty military personnel and/or their dependants, with ID and traveling on order. The airline said passengers may be subject to additional fees if:

• you check more than two bags;

• any of your bags weigh more than 50 lbs. (23 kg);

• any of your bags exceed 62 linear inches (158 linear cm)*; and/or

• any of your checked bags are considered special items.