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

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When it comes to traveling for less, finding a cheap flight is only half the battle. Avoiding baggage fees can make a major difference in your fare.

If you’re wondering what you’ll pay for baggage fees, you should know that many of the major airlines have set their prices based on the specific routes that you choose. In other words, baggage fees aren’t as cut and dry as they use to be.

How To Find Out Baggage Fees For Your Favorite Airline

For instance, Spirit Airlines’ baggage fees are based on the route and date of the itinerary. When I checked a flight from Atlanta to Myrtle Beach, the carry-on bag fees ranged from $58 to $89** and surpassed the checked bag fees. Your flight status will also play a role in how much your bags cost on Spirit.

For Allegiant Air, the carrier’s website says that baggage fees are up to $35 per person, but could increase depending on departure and arrival airports.

Allegiant Air baggage fees also factor in the airports.* When I input a flight from Austin to Cincinnati, the Allegiant Air baggage fees were $38 at booking, $48 to buy at pre-departure and $50 to purchase at the airport.

Allegiant Air baggage fees
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For customer convenience, carriers such as Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Spirit Airlines’ (Bag-a-Tron) all utilize baggage fee calculators on their respective websites that tell you what you’ll pay. In the case of Frontier Airlines, the low-budget carrier has a bag price checker online.

In researching this article, I input information into the baggage calculators for those airline websites that didn’t publish flat fees for their baggage pricing.

All of the baggage fees we listed have the following in common:

  • Are current as of May 2023
  • For domestic flights only
  • Are for one-way flights

How Much Are Baggage Fees for American, Delta, United and More?

Airline1st Checked Bag2nd Checked Bag3rd
Maximum Personal Item & Carry-On Size specifications
Alaska Airlines$30$40$100Personal item: 22'' x 14'' x 9" is free; Carry-On: 22'' x 14'' x 9'' is free
Allegiant AirUp to $35 per bag*; After August 16, 2023: $70 if bought during pre-departure; $75 at the airport.$34 to $50 depending on route and when you check bag in$75Personal Item
10" x 16" x 22" is free; $10 to $75 charge applies to your carry-on (10" x 16" x 22")
American Airlines$30$40$150Personal item: 18" x 14" x 8" is free; Carry-on: 22" x 14" x 9" is free
Delta Air Lines$30$40$150Free personal item: Must fit underneath seat - Carry-On Size: 22" x 14" x 9" is free
Frontier AirlinesFrom $53 on up depending on itinerary and point of purchaseFrom $53 on up depending on itinerary and point of purchase$75-$100Personal item of 14" X 18" x 8" is free - $30 to $60 charge applies to your carry-on (24" x 16" x 10")
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)
Free personal item must fit underneath seat - Carry-on - 22" x 14" x 9" -- is free.
JetBlue Airways$35$45$150Personal item - 17" x 13" x 8" -- is free; Carry-on - 22" x 14" x 9" is free.
Spirit AirlinesPrices vary depending on point of purchase and departure and arrival airports.Prices vary depending on point of purchase and departure and arrival airports.Prices vary depending on point of purchase and departure and arrival airports.Personal item: 18" x 14" x 8" is free; Carry-On: $58-$89** for 22" x 18" x 10"
Southwest AirlinesFREEFREE$75Personal item - 18.5" x 8.5" x 13.5" is free; Carry-on: 24" x 16" x10" is free.
United Airlines$35 ($30 prepaid)$45 ($40 prepaid)$150+ depending on routePersonal item: 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches - is free; Carry-On: 22" x 14" x 9" is free.

Finding a cheap flight is one thing; avoiding baggage fees is a whole other thing. Money expert Clark Howard says he gets around baggage charges by packing well.

Money expert Clark Howard loves to travel. One way he saves money on baggage fees is by packing everything into one bag. He’s recently added an item to his luggage that he calls a “lifesaver.” And he means it literally.


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, who never fails to bring four particular items on his trips.

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.

“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!”

Are you traveling soon? Read up on how Clark plans for a trip.

Article Updates

  • May 12, 2023: Updated baggage fees table for all airlines listed. Also adding information about baggage fee calculators and updated pricing examples for Spirit and Allegiant airlines.

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