While doing research for my Airline Flight Delays and Cancellations post, I came across a lot of references for checked baggage fees, thus I decided to do more research and gather info for the same four U.S. carriers: American, Delta, Southwest, and United. Of course, check with your carrier, as these rules and fees can change without notice, especially right now when they are all being so cheap. (do I sound like an announcer though, lol?)
Most of the time we don’t usually have to worry about checked baggage fees as we don’t usually check bags. I have the packing process down to a science, even if we got to Europe, lol. The only time we would check a bag is if we are going to a tropical place or island and need suits/trunks, shorts, different types of shirts, suntan lotion, and snorkel gear. Anyway, since I found I lot of information, I figured I would share it and hope that it may help someone else while planning their trip. Here is what I found by each airline carrier listed in alphabetical order. These are definitely not the order of preference. as we can’t stand AA, they are horrible. If you want to know why we feel this way, read my Horrible Experience as First Class Passengers post. But I digress, sorry.
1st checked bag is complimentary for:
- Eligible AAdvantage® Citibank card members (on Domestic American Airlines flights only)
- Eligible US Airways MasterCard® and US Airways Visa® card members (on Domestic US Airways flights only)
- AAdvantage Gold
- OneWorld Ruby
1st and 2nd checked bags are complimentary for:
- AAdvantage Platinum
- OneWorld Sapphire members and any companions traveling with you (excludes corporate bookings)
- TrueBlue Mosaic members
- Confirmed Business customers
- Confirmed Premium Economy customers
1st, 2nd, and 3rd checked bags are complimentary for:
- Confirmed First customers on 3-cabin aircraft*
- AAdvantage® Executive Platinum
- AAdvantage® Platinum Pro
- oneworld® Emerald
- Active U.S. military and/or dependents with ID traveling on orders (1st – 5th bags free of charge)
- Active U.S. military with ID on personal travel
If you don’t fall into one of these lists, here are the charges per bag.
|Region||Bag 1^^||Bag 2^^||Bag 3||Bag 4+|
|Haiti||$0 / $30*||$65**||$200#||$200|
|Cuba||$0 / $30||$0 / $65**||$200#||$200|
|Caribbean (except Cuba and Haiti)||$30||$40||$200#||$200|
|Central America||$30*^||$40 / $65**||$200#||$200|
|Guyana and Suriname||$30||$40||$200#||$200|
|South America (except Guyana, and Suriname)||$0 / $45*||$65**||$200#||$200|
|Transatlantic||$0 / $75*||$100||$200||$200|
|Baggage category||Fee||Max Weight|
|First checked bag||$30||50lbs|
|Second checked bag||$40||50lbs|
|Third checked bag||$150||50lbs|
|Fourth(+) checked bag||$200||50lbs|
Excess Baggage Within the U.S.
Type of Bag
|Fees and Rules (Each Way)|
3rd CHECKED BAG
BAGS 4 TO 10
$200 USD each
|51-70 lbs. (23 kg – 31.75 kg) – $100 USD/CAD*
71-100 lbs. (32 kg – 45.36 kg) – $200 USD/CAD*
Bags exceeding 100 lbs. (45.36 kg) are not permitted
|63”- 80” (161 – 203 cm): $200 USD/CAD*
(linear inches: length + width + height)
Bags larger than 80” (203 cm) are not permitted
Find requirements for all special items, including items like golf bags, ski equipment, wheelchairs, and more.
PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED ITEMS
Find requirements for prohibited or restricted items, including items like firearms, explosives, weapons, battery or fuel-powered devices, and more.
They state that they do not charge for your first or second checked bag! That’s right, no checked baggage fees! While bag fees have become the norm amongst their competitors, they’ve stayed true to their reputation as the maverick of the airline industry by not charging for bags. Your skis and golf bags fly free too! I love this about Southwest and one of the reasons we actually fly them a lot, even though we usually on carry-on. Plus they have no change fees for flights. It is nice to have some flexibility if our plans change. Definitely good for the last two years of nightmares.
|United Fees & Policies|
|Carry on bag:||Free|
|First checked bag fee:||$35|
|Second checked bag fee:||$45|
|Additional bags fee:||$150 each (up to $200 on some international routes)|
|Overweight bags:||$100 51-70lbs
$200 71-100lbs (up to $400 on some international routes)
|Oversize bags:||$200 (up to $200 on some international routes|
I hope this information is beneficial and helps you decide between carrying a bag on the plane or dealing with checked baggage fees on your next trip. Again, check with your carrier before making any decisions. Safe travels.
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