Ultimate Checked Baggage Fees Guide

These days, almost all major airlines charge checked baggage fees. In fact, in the first quarter of 2015, passenger airlines earned $864 million from baggage fees alone. Although I try to avoid checking luggage while traveling, I often find that for long vacations, Christmas trips, or when I’m trying to bring home some good bottles of wine, checking a bag is absolutely necessary.

Below, I have compiled a checked baggage fees guide with the luggage fees from the major U.S. airlines for domestic travel, including carry-on bag sizes, fees for each checked bag, and ways to avoid these fees through frequent flyer status or co-branded credit cards.

Southwest Airlines and its “Bags Fly Free” policy are unique in the industry, as every other company charges for checked luggage. Be wary of budget airlines, such as Frontier and Spirit, which may offer low fares but require fees for even carry-on luggage!

The best way to avoid baggage fees is to not check any luggage, but in case you need to, educate yourself about the various policies before flying for smoother travels.

baggage policy comparison chart

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Comments 2

  1. Dennis D.

    Very helpful! If you can save me some money anytime that I am on a plane or need to take one, please do. Posting this fee schedule is a very helpful in planning a trip.

  2. Christine Warner

    It is amazing to me that not ALL of the companies offer at least 1 free bag to those that are part of a membership. You are already paying more, but you cannot take 1 bag on the flight? That just seems like an easy perk.

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