Airline Baggage Fee Bible

Avoid beginning vacation with an unexpected expense by knowing the size and weight limit for your luggage. Fees vary by carrier, so we compared the most popular U.S. airlines. The verdict? Overall, Continental and United were the heavy-hitters while Southwest took the budget-friendly prize.
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American

The Size: A max of 45 linear inches (22L x 14W x 9H) for carry-on. Checked bags can’t exceed 62 linear inches and 50 pounds.
The Cost: Within the U.S. and Canada, $25 for first, $35 for second, and $150 for additional bags. For Europe and Asia, first bag is free; the second is $60.
The Extra Fees: $100 up to 70 pounds; $200 up to 100 pounds. $200 for oversized bags.

Continental

The Size: A max of 45 linear inches (22L x 14W x 9H) for carry-on. Checked bags can’t exceed 62 linear inches and 50 pounds.
The Cost: Within the U.S. and Canada, $25 for first; $35 for second ($40 for the Caribbean). For Mexico and Central America, first is free; second is $40. For Europe, Asia, and most other destinations, first is free; second is $70.
The Extra Fees: $200 up to 70 pounds; $400 up to 100 pounds. $100-$200 for oversized bags.
Tip: Get three checked bags up to 70 pounds with status and mileage cards.

Delta

The Size: A max of 45 linear inches (22L x 14W x 9H) for carry-on. Checked bags can’t exceed 62 linear inches and 50 pounds.
The Cost: Within the U.S. and Canada, $25 for first; $35 for second ($40 for the Caribbean). For Mexico and Central America, first is free; second is $40. For Europe, Asia, and most other destinations, first is free; second is $70
The Extra Fees: Within the U.S. and Canada, $90 up to 70 pounds; $175 up to 100 pounds. For Europe, $75 up to 70 pounds; heavier bags aren’t accepted. For most other destinations, $75 up to 70 pounds; $200 up to 100 pounds.
Tip: For travel to South America, Europe, and Asia, there’s an extra $15 fee if you check your second bag at the airport versus online.

JetBlue

The Size: Personal item max is 18L x 15W x 8H. Overhead bag max is 26L x 18W x 12H on the Airbus A320s and 24L x 16W x 10H on the EMBRAER 190. Checked bags can’t exceed 62 linear inches and 50 pounds.
The Cost: The first is free; $75 each for a second and third. $35 for an additional carry-on.
The Extra Fees: $50 up to 70 pounds; $100 up to 99 pounds. $75 up to 80 linear inches.

Southwest

The Size: Bags can’t be larger than 62 linear inches and 50 pounds.
The Cost: The first two are free. The third through ninth are $50 each; anything beyond that is $110.
The Extra Fees: It’s only an extra $50 for bags up to 80 linear inches weighing 100 pounds or less.

United

The Size: A max of 45 linear inches (22L x 14W x 9H) for carry-on. Bags can’t be larger than 62 linear inches, and carry-on and checked bags can’t exceed 44 pounds combined.
The Cost: $25 for first; $35 for second.
The Extra Fees: Within the U.S. and Canada, $100 up to 70 pounds; $200 up to 100 pounds. For Europe, about $200 up to 70 pounds and $400 up to 100 pounds.
Tip: Status or mileage cards can get you between one and three extra bags weighing from 50 to 70 pounds each.


Photo credit: cokacoka / iStockPhoto