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Airline Baggage Fees

airport passengers luggage suitcases baggage walkingStill think you should be able to check a bag or two for free on your next flight? Unfortunately, the airlines don't agree with you. Over the past few years, nearly every U.S. airline except Southwest has added fees to check bags on flights within the U.S. -- and many are charging those fees on flights to Canada, Latin America and Europe as well.

To add insult to injury, most airlines have also jacked up their penalties on excess, oversized and overweight luggage, with fees ranging from $50 to a whopping $600.

Seven Smart Ways to Bypass Baggage Fees
The Carry-On Challenge: How to Pack Light Every Time

It's difficult to keep up with these rapidly changing fees, so we're doing it for you! Below is an airline-by-airline roundup of checked bag fees (as well as who's exempt from those fees), excess baggage penalties, and charges for oversized/overweight luggage. Use the links below to jump straight to your favorite airline.

A note on oversized luggage: The dimensions given below are based on the sum of your bag's height, length and width in inches.


AirTran Airways
First Checked Bag: $20 each way for all economy-class reservations.
Second Checked Bag: $25 each way for all economy-class reservations.
Who's Exempt: Business-class travelers and active military personnel traveling with ID and official orders. Disabled travelers may check a wheelchair for no charge.
Excess Bags: $50 per piece for your third through ninth checked bags. Your 10th bag and beyond will cost $110 each. Special fees may apply for sporting equipment.
Overweight Bags: You'll be charged $50 for bags weighing between 51 to 100 pounds. Suitcases that weigh more than 100 pounds are not permitted.
Oversized Bags: Bags 62 inches to 80 inches will be accepted for a charge of $50 per item. Bags larger than 80 inches are not permitted.
AirTran's full baggage policy

Poll: How Do You Avoid Airline Luggage Fees?

Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air
First Checked Bag: $20 each way for all economy-class travel.
Second Checked Bag: $20 each way for all economy-class travel.
Who's Exempt: First-class passengers; Elite Level Mileage Plan members; Club 49 members; Delta SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members; Delta SkyMiles Silver Medallion members; American AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum, and Gold members; active-duty military personnel; customers traveling wholly within the state of Alaska or to Guadalajara or Mexico City; and passengers making international connections to other airlines (as long as a ticketing and baggage agreement is in effect between Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air and the other airline).
Excess Bags: $20 for a third bag, and $50 for each bag thereafter.
Overweight Bags: $50 for bags weighing 51 to 100 pounds. Heavier bags are not permitted.
Oversized Bags: $50 for bags measuring 63 to 80 inches; $75 for bags measuring 81 to 115 inches. Larger bags are not permitted.
Alaska Airlines' full baggage policy

American Airlines
money dollars fanFirst Checked Bag: $25 each way for economy-class flights within the United States, U.S.V.I., Puerto Rico and Canada.
Second Checked Bag: $35 each way for economy-class flights within the United States, U.S.V.I., Puerto Rico and Canada. $60 each way for economy-class flights to/from Europe.
Who's Exempt: First- or business-class travelers, customers who purchase full-fare tickets in economy class, select AAdvantage and oneworld Alliance members, and military passengers on active duty. Other exemptions apply; see link below for details.
Excess Bags: $150 per piece for any additional bags. Exceptions may apply for international itineraries.
Overweight Bags: $100 for each bag weighing 51 to 70 pounds; $200 for each bag weighing 71 to 100 pounds. Bags over 100 pounds are not permitted. Exceptions apply for some international itineraries.
Oversized Bags: $200 for bags measuring 62 to 126 inches, except for travel to Europe, China or Japan, for which these bags cost $150. Bags measuring more than 126 inches are not permitted.
American Airlines' full baggage policy

Delta
First Checked Bag: $25 each way for travel within or between the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.S.V.I.
Second Checked Bag: For travel within or between the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S.V.I. and Canada, $35 each way. For travel between U.S./Canada and the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central America or Mexico, $40 each way. For travel between U.S./Canada and Asia/Oceania (excluding Japan or the Philippines), India, South America (excluding Brazil), the Middle East or Southern Africa, $60 each way when paid online at the Delta Web site, or $75 at the airport. For travel between U.S./Canada and Europe/Northern Africa, $80 each way when paid online or $100 at the airport. For travel between U.S./Canada and Japan, the Philippines or Brazil, a second checked bag is free.
Who's Exempt: First- or business-class passengers, select SkyMiles and World Perks members, passengers paying full economy fare, and active-duty military personnel. Other exemptions apply; see link below for details.
Excess Bags: For travel within the United States, Canada, U.S.V.I. and Puerto Rico: $125 for a third checked bag and $200 each for bags 4 through 10. For travel outside these regions, fees vary by itinerary from as little as $75 to as much as $600 per bag. See link below for details.
Overweight Bags: For travel within the United States, Canada, U.S.V.I. and Puerto Rico: $90 for each bag weighing 51 to 70 pounds, and $175 for each bag weighing 71 to 100 pounds. For travel outside these regions, fees vary by itinerary from as little as $50 to as much as $450 per bag. See link below for details. Bags weighing over 100 pounds are not permitted regardless of itinerary.
Oversized Bags: $100 - $300 for each bag measuring 63 to 80 inches, depending on destination. Bags measuring 81 - 115 linear inches are considered specialty items, for which fees vary by destination. Bags measuring more than 115 inches are not permitted.
Delta's full baggage policy

Frontier Airlines
First Checked Bag: $20 each way for economy-class travel within the United States.
Second Checked Bag: $20 each way for economy-class travel within the United States or to international destinations.
Who's Exempt: Summit and Ascent mileage level members, passengers traveling domestically on Classic airfares, passengers traveling on Classic Plus domestic or international airfares, and active-duty military personnel.
Excess Bags: $50 for each bag beyond your first two.
Overweight Bags: $75 for each bag weighing more than 50 pounds. Bags weighing more than 100 pounds are not permitted.
Oversized Bags: $75 for each bag measuring more than 62 inches. Bags measuring more than 110 inches are not permitted.
Frontier's full baggage policy

JetBlue
First Checked Bag: Free.
Second Checked Bag: $40 each way.
Who's Exempt: Active-duty military personnel.
Excess Bags: $75 per bag beyond your first two checked bags.
Overweight Bags: $50 for each bag weighing 51 to 70 pounds, and $100 for each bag weighing 71 to 99 pounds. Bags over 99 pounds are not permitted.
Oversized Bags: $75 for each bag measuring 63 to 80 inches. Larger bags are not permitted.
JetBlue's full baggage policy

Southwest Airlines
southwest airlines airport counter agent passengersFirst Checked Bag: Free.
Second Checked Bag: Free.
Who's Exempt: Military passengers traveling on active duty are exempt from the two-piece baggage limit and from excess, oversize or overweight baggage charges, as long the bags don't exceed 100 pounds in weight or 80 inches in size.
Excess Bags: $50 each for a third through ninth bag, and $110 for any bag thereafter.
Overweight Bags: $50 for each bag weighing 51 to 100 pounds. Heavier bags will not be accepted.
Oversized Bags: $50 per bag measuring 62 to 80 inches. Larger bags will not be accepted.
Southwest's full baggage policy

Spirit Airlines
Carry-On Bags: Spirit is the first airline to charge a fee for carry-on bags. Any carry-on item that cannot fit under the seat in front of the passenger will be charged the following fees: $20 when reserved online by $9 Fare Club members more than 24 hours before departure (rising to $25 effective November 6, 2012); $30 when reserved online by non-members of the $9 Fare Club more than 24 hours before departure (rising to $35 effective November 6, 2012); $40 at the airport counter ($50 effective November 6, 2012); or $45 at the gate ($100 effective November 6, 2012). Carry-on bags paid for online within 24 hours of departure cost an additional $5. (Certain items are exempt from these fees, such as strollers and diaper bags.)
First Checked Bag: $9 Fare Club members pay $18 for domestic flights and $23 for international flights when checking in online. Effective November 6, 2012, a $20 fee will be charged for both domestic and international flights. Non-members checking in online currently pay $28 for domestic flights and $33 for international flights; effective November 6, 2012, a $30 fee will be charged for both domestic and international flights. Passengers checking their bag at the airport pay $38 for domestic and $43 for international flights. Effective November 6, 2012, a $45 fee will be charged for both domestic and international flights.
Second Checked Bag: $9 Fare Club members pay $25 for domestic flights and $30 for international flights when checking in online. Effective November 6, 2012, a $30 fee will be charged for both domestic and international flights. Non-members checking in online currently pay $35 for domestic flights or $40 for international flights. Effective November 6, 2012, a $40 fee will be charged for both domestic and international flights. Passengers checking their bag at the airport pay $45 for domestic and $50 for international flights. Effective November 6, 2012, a $55 fee will be charged for both domestic and international flights.
Who's Exempt: No one.
Excess Bags: $9 Fare Club members paying when booking or before check-in currently pay $75 each for a third through fifth bag on domestic flights or $80 each on international flights. Effective November 6, 2012, the fee will be $75 for both. $9 Fare Club members paying for their bag during online check-in pay $80 each for a third through fifth bag on domestic flights or $85 each on international flights. Effective November 6, 2012, the fee will be $80 for both domestic and international flights. Non-members paying when booking or before check-in currently pay $85 each for a third through fifth bag on domestic flights or $90 each on international flights; effective November 6, 2012, the fee will be $85 for both domestic and international flights. Non-members paying during online check-in currently pay $90 each for a third through fifth bag on domestic flights or $95 each on international flights; that fee will be $90 for both domestic and international flights effective November 6, 2012.
Overweight Bags: $25 for each bag weighing 41 to 50 pounds, $50 for each bag weighing 51 to 70 pounds, and $100 for each bag weighing 71 to 99 pounds. Heavier bags are not permitted.
Oversized Bags: $100 for bags measuring 62 to 79 inches, and $150 for bags measuring 80 to 160 inches. Spirit does not accept bags that measure more than 80 inches in a single dimension or that have combined dimensions exceeding 160 inches.
Spirit's full baggage policy

United
airport yellow suitcase womanFirst Checked Bag: $25 each way for economy-class flights within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and U.S.V.I.
Second Checked Bag: $35 each way for economy-class flights within the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I. $40 each way for travel between the U.S. and the Caribbean or Mexico. $50 each way for flights from North America to Europe or India.
Who's Exempt: First- or business-class travelers; Global Services, Mileage Plus 1K, Premier Executive, Premier, or Star Alliance Gold or Silver members; active-duty military personnel (and/or dependents) with ID and traveling on orders; and passengers flying to destinations besides those listed above.
Excess Bags: $100 per excess bag for flights within the U.S. or to Canada, Central America, Mexico or the Caribbean. Excess baggage fees for other international flights vary by destination; see link below for details.
Overweight Bags: $100 per bag weighing 51 to 99.9 pounds for flights within the U.S. or to Canada, Central America, Mexico or the Caribbean. Fees for other international flights vary by destination; see link below for details. Bags larger than 99.9 pounds will not be accepted.
Oversized Bags: $100 per bag measuring 62 to 115 inches for flights within the U.S. or to Canada, Central America, Mexico or the Caribbean. Fees for other international flights vary by destination; see link below for details. Bags larger than 115 inches, or with any single dimension exceeding 62 inches, will not be accepted.
United's full baggage policy

US Airways
First Checked Bag: $25 each way for all economy-class flights (except to Europe, Brazil or Israel).
Second Checked Bag: $35 each way for all economy-class flights (except to Europe, Brazil or Israel). $70 each way for flights to Europe.
Who's Exempt: First, second and third checked bag fees are waived for Gold, Platinum and Chairman's Dividend Miles Preferred members and Star Alliance Gold status members. First and second checked bag fees are waived for unaccompanied minors, First Class and Envoy passengers, and active U.S. military personnel with ID. First checked bag fees are waived for Silver Preferred members and Star Alliance Silver members.
Excess Bags: $125 each for your third bag on flights anywhere except Europe, Brazil or Israel. $200 each for your third through ninth bags on flights to Europe or Israel. $85 each for your third through ninth bags on flights to Brazil.
Overweight Bags: For flights anywhere except Europe, Israel and Brazil, the fee is $90 per bag weighing 51 to 70 pounds and $175 per bag weighing 71 to 100 pounds. There's no overweight charge if you're booked in First Class for your first two bags. For flights to Europe or Israel, the fee is $150 per bag weighing 51 to 70 pounds. For flights to Tel Aviv, $175 is charged per bag weighing 71 to 100 pounds. Baggage over 70 pounds is not accepted for travel to or from the rest of Europe. For flights to Brazil, the fee is $85 per bag weighing 71 to 100 pounds. Heavier bags are not accepted.
Oversized Bags: For tickets to any destination except Brazil: $175 for each bag measuring 62 to 80 inches. For tickets to Brazil: $85 for each bag measuring 62 to 80 inches. Larger bags are not accepted.
US Airways' full baggage policy

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    --written by Sarah Schlichter; updated by Christina Liva
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