Airline Baggage Fees: What You’ll Pay on United, Delta, American, Spirit & More

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Airline baggage fees: What you'll pay on United, Delta, American, Spirit & more...
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Everyone loves cheap airfare, but what passengers have to increasingly deal with today is the rising costs of airline baggage fees.

The truth is that if you know the bag fees upfront, you may be able to save more money by choosing a slightly higher fare on a carrier who won’t “fee” you to death.

In this article, we’re going to show you the airline baggage fees of all the major airlines so that you can make an informed decision when you buy an airline ticket.

Here Are 10 Major Airline Baggage Fees For 2020

When you fly some carriers, the price of airfare is just a starting point — and your total out-of-pocket cost quickly gets inflated based on a lot of other fees.

So it’s no wonder then that baggage fees have become such a pain point for consumers, especially when they they aren’t being told the costs upfront.

Here’s a look at 10 U.S. airlines and what each of them charges in checked bag fees.

Please note: These prices are for one-way domestic travel only and don’t include reward program privileges or credit card perks. They also only pertain to the main cabin and not excess baggage.

Airline1st Checked Bag2nd Checked Bag3rd
checked
Bag
Maximum Personal Item & Carry-On Size specifications
American Airlines$30$40$150Personal item: 18 x 14 x 8 inches - Carry-on: 22 x 14 x 9 inches
Delta Air Lines$30$40$150Personal item: Must fit underneath seat - Carry-On Size: 22" x 14" x 9"
Southwest AirlinesFREEFREE$75Personal item - 18.5" x 8.5" x 13.5"Carry-on - 10" x 16" x 24"
United Airlines$35$45$150+ depending on routePersonal item: 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches - Carry-On: 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches
Alaska Airlines$30$40$100Personal item: Must fit underneath seat - Carry-On: 22'' x 14'' x 9''
JetBlue Airways$35$45$150Personal item - 17" x 13" x 8" - Carry-on - 22" x 14" x 9"
Spirit AirlinesRanges from $23 if checked in during booking to $65 if done at the gateRanges from $33 during booking to $65 at airport reservation centerRanges from $76 to $100Personal item: 18"x 14"x8" Carry-On: $28-$65 for 22 x 18 x 10 inches
Frontier AirlinesRanges from $25 if checked in during booking to $60 if done at the gateRanges from $45 during booking to $50 at airport reservation centerRanges from $80 to $85Personal item of 18"x14"x8" is free - $30 to $60 charge applies to your carry-on*
Allegiant AirRanges from $10 to $75, depending on route and when you check bag in$10 to $75, depending on route and when you check bag in$10 to $75, depending on route and when you check bag inPersonal item: 7"x15"x16" - Carry-On: Personal Item
7 x 15 x 16 inches - is free - $15 to $75 charge applies to your carry-on*
Hawaiian Airlines$25 (to neighbor island)
$30 (to North America)
$35 (to neighbor island)
$40 (to North America)
$50 (to neighbor island)
$100 (to North America)
Personal item must fit underneath seat - Carry-on - 22" x 14" x 9"

How Clark Deals With Baggage Fees

Rather than paying checked bag fees, money expert Clark Howard travels only with what an airline permits free as a single carry-on.

A major plus is “I never worry about the airline losing my baggage,” Clark says.

Sometimes getting everything you need into a carry-on can be an extreme test. Once when in Europe, the consumer expert needed his carry-on to be less than 22 pounds or he’d have to pay a nearly $50 fee to check his bag in at the airport.

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“I had to wear multiple layers of clothing in Dublin, Ireland, to make sure I avoided that hefty $50 fee!” Clark recalls. “That meant three layers of clothing so that my bag would be less than 22 pounds. I put on three pairs of pants, two shirts and a sweatshirt on top of that while flying.”

His advice to you after that debacle? “Pack light. It’s going to make your trip a whole lot more pleasant!”

Do you have a trip coming up? Here are some Clark travel tips you’ll need.

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