In our table below, be sure to read the baggage, size & weight details of each airline. Information provided is for domestic economy class and international economy class only. Baggage sizes are defined by linear inches, which is the Height + Width + Depth of the bag. Read on how to measure baggage properly.
Each airline baggage policy is different and in most cases, confusing. The details that you need to pay the most attention to is if one bag can be charged multiple baggage fees. If your bag is overweight, for example, some airlines will charge you the standard fee plus the overweight fee. Others will just charge you the overweight fee. Some airlines allow you to purchase baggage prior to your flight at a cheaper cost. It can save you a little money but just be aware all pre-paid baggage purchases are non-refundable and non-transferable.
A useful tip we found is that if you bring one bag and it is overweight, it is cheaper to split it into two bags. You will pay for two standard baggage fees, but will avoid the overweight fee which is usually more expensive. If you have a lot of bags and are not in a hurry, you may want to look into standard ground shipping methods like UPS, FedEx and USPS as an alternative.
All baggage fees are charged for each way of travel. Select the tabs below to either view US Airline baggage fees or International baggage fees. And since airlines can be a volatile bunch with baggage policies constantly changing, be sure to check back each time you fly.
One piece of baggage can be charged with three different fees on AirTran Airways. If you bring one bag that is overweight and oversized, your cost will be $20 (1st bag fee) + $49 (oversize fee) + $49 (overweight fee) = $118 total for one bag. These fees are applicable for every piece of checked baggage.
Unlike other airlines, with Alaska one piece of baggage will only be subject to one fee. If your bag is under 50 lbs and 63 inches, you are charged the standard bag fee. If your bag is overweight, you're charged the $50 overweight fee only (you are not charged standard fee + overweight fee). If you are both overweight and oversized, you are charged whatever the highest fee is.
Example, if your bag is overweight 70 lbs and oversize 100 inches, your cost for that bag is $75. Most airlines charge multiple fees for one bag, so we give Alaska Airlines good scores for this.
The oversize and overweight fees are in addition to the standard baggage fees. If you are checking one overweight bag, your fee will be $25 + $100 = $125. If it is also oversized, you can add another $200 to that. If you have one bag that is overweight, it would be cheaper to split that into two bags and stay under the 50 lbs weight limit. This is especially true with American Airlines baggage fees because their excess fees are costly. And since these fees are one way, you could easily pay more for your baggage than you did for the price of your ticket.
Delta Airlines baggage fees are pretty straight forward. If your bag is applicable to a fee, it will be charged. What this means, if your bag is overweight and oversize, Delta Airlines will charge you the standard baggage fee + the overweight fee + the oversize fee.
Frontier's baggage policy is pretty straightforward. Your baggage can incur multiple charges. For example, if your bag is overweight, you are charged the standard bag fee + the overweight fee. If your bag is overweight and oversize, you are charged all 3 charges of the standard, overweight and oversize fees.
Hawaiian airlines charges you for each fee possible. What this means: if your bag is overweight and oversize, you are charged the standard bag fee, plus the overweight fee, plus the oversize fee. If you are in Hawaii and just flying island to island, the fees are much friendlier.
At least with JetBlue, your first bag is free. However, like most airlines, you will be charged for each applicable fee. Meaning, if your bag is overweight and oversize, you will be charged for both fees on each item. It's best to keep your bag limit under 3 and if you have one heavy bag, split it into two bags that are under 50 lbs.
Hip Hip Hooray for Southwest. Yes, your first two bags are free. Also, if both of these bags are overweight and oversize, you are not charged for both fees. You are only charged one fee of $50. The only time you incur multiple charges is when you get over 2 bags. If your 3rd+ bag is overweight or oversize, you will be charged the applicable standard bag fee + the $50 fee. Even in this case, you are not charged both overweight and oversize fees, it is just one $50 overweight/oversize charge plus the standard bag charge.
You can save money by paying for your Spirit baggage fees online before check-in. That's a nice feature, but they still nickle-and-dime you for every possible fee including a carry-on charge. You can be sure to pay multiple fees for each piece of baggage. Meaning, if your bag is overweight and oversize, you will be charged for all 3 standard, overweight and oversize fees. It is also possible that if you change planes, you may be charged for each leg for all of these fees. Spirit Airlines baggage policy is the only airline that we have seen do that.
Sun Country allows you to save a little money by purchasing baggage online up to one hour prior to check-in. They are also one of the more friendly airlines in that your bags do not incur multiple charges. In all scenario's, you are simply charged the highest fee. Example, if your bag is overweight, you are not charged the standard bag fee + the overweight fee. You are only charged the overweight fee. If your bag is overweight, oversize and excess baggage (3rd+ bag), again you are simply charged the highest fee, which is $75.
US Airways baggage fees are pretty straightforward in that if a fee applies to your bag, it will be charged. Meaning, if the bag is overweight and oversize, you will be charged the standard fee + overweight fee + oversize fee.
United baggage fees are pretty straight forward. If your bag is applicable to a fee, it will be charged. What this means, if your bag is overweight and oversize, you will be charged the standard baggage fee + the overweight fee + the oversize fee.
Virgin American allows you to bring quite a few bags at very reasonable rates. Up to 10 bags at only $25 a piece is unheard of at virtually every other airline. However, bags do incur multiple fees. If your bag is overweight and oversize, you will be charged the standard fee + overweight + oversize for each piece of baggage.
The great thing about WestJet is your first bag is free. Unfortunately, bags can be charged multiple fees. What this means, if your bag is overweight and oversize, it will be charged the standard fee + overweight fee + oversize fee.
Checked baggage fees can be a pain. Airline baggage policy for all airlines are constantly changing. And with giant revenues being generated, baggage fees are here to stay. If you like, or dislike, a particular airline please let our users know by doing a rating. Your experience will help educate future travelers on choosing the best airlines to fly.
If you have questions or general comments, you can leave them below. If your question/comment is about a particular airline, it is best to leave that comment on that airlines specific page. That can be done by scrolling above and clicking on the specific airline name. That helps keep conversations on our site more organized.