Airline Baggage Fees Chart Breakdown! Know Your Airline Baggage Fee!

It’s summer time! With global travelling recovering rapidly, it’s nothing strange that many people are packing up for a vacation. But as always, with travelling comes the hassle of packing and baggage, which has been made worse with many airlines changing their policies during the pandemic.

With more and more people getting increasingly concerned about airline baggage fees, which is understandable. Baggage fees are a calamity of numbers and stats that are intentionally complicated so as to trick passengers into paying more.

Rather than going out of your way to do all of the digging yourself, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here is everything you need to know about airline baggage fees.

What is the Baggage Fee?

On commercial routes, the amount of checked baggage or hand/carry-on luggage that the company will permit per passenger is known as the baggage allowance, most commonly with airlines. There might be restrictions on how much is provided for free as well as definite limits on how much is permitted.

Depending on the class, elite status, type of ticket, flight origin and destination, and airline, different limits apply. When two flights are booked simultaneously, additional restrictions may apply (e.g. if another flight on the same ticket is a long-haul flight. The specific luggage policies are stated in the online ticket information.

Baggage fees can be confusing. Image from Unsplash

Types of Airline Baggage

Checked baggage

Luggage that has been provided to a railroad or airline to be transported in the baggage car or hold of an aircraft is known as checked baggage. Unlike carry-on luggage, which is accessible to the traveller during the flight or ride, checked baggage.

Airlines impose size, weight, and number restrictions on this luggage, which are typically based on the fare paid or ticket type. Excess baggage is defined as luggage that exceeds the allowed limitations.

In terms of baggage allowance policy, each airline has its own approach. The policy frequently depends on where the aeroplane is going or coming from. Tickets issued by different airlines may follow different regulations. Typically, the details of a specific booking are stated in the online ticket information.

On short-haul internal flights in the US, most discounted economy tickets no longer cover checked baggage fees. Therefore, passengers must pay if they want to check in their bags. They can also choose full fare or premium tickets, or travel so often that you hold elite status, which will grant you extra free checked baggage slots.

On long-haul and international flights, it is a standard that checked baggage is included in the ticket free. Some ultra-cheap airlines, however, charge checked bags on international routes.

Hand Baggage

The type of luggage that passengers are permitted to bring along in the passenger compartment of a vehicle (rather than a separate cargo compartment in checked baggage is referred to as hand luggage, cabin baggage, or carry-on in North America. Only a few small bags, often containing valuables and supplies needed for the trip, are permitted for passengers to take inside the vehicle.

Typically, hand baggage is stored either in the underseat space or the overhead lockers.

Standards Baggage Concept

There are two standard concepts currently in use when it comes to baggage limits.

Piece Concept

According to this concept, passengers can check in a certain number of pieces of baggage depending on the individual airline’s policy. Each bag will come with its own restrictions in weight and size. However, the size and weight restrictions on each bag vary between different airlines, and other factors also come into play, such as fare, status, type of ticket, routes, special bonus, etc.

Generally, under the Piece concept, Economy Class passengers can check in bags each weighing up to 50 lbs/23 kg, while Business and First Class passengers can check in bags each weighing up to 70 lbs/32 kg. This is only a rule of thumb though, and passengers should consult with the airline’s official website for concrete information.

The Piece Concept used to be exclusive to routes to or from America. However, it’s starting to be adopted elsewhere.  Vietnam Airlines, for instance, adopted this concept starting from August, 2019.

Weight Concept

According to this concept, there is no cap on how many baggage passengers can check in per person per flight. There is only a total weight limit, meaning that all of what the passengers check in can only total up to a certain threshold. This limit depends on various factors, namely fare, status, type of ticket, routes, special bonus, etc.

Oftentimes, passengers travelling in groups can combine their allowances, which means that the limit per person will multiply to the number of people.

Baggage pooling

Fundamentally, baggage pooling isn’t dissimilar with the group combination mentioned in the previous section. It allows multiple passengers to combine multiple bags into one check, in the name of the one checking them in.

Why You Should Know About Baggage Fees Before Booking a Flight Ticket?

Some Fundamental Knowledge

Baggage fees are calculated per bag. Which means that each bag, along with surcharges (overweight fees, oversized fees, etc., will have its fees calculated individually. Restrictions will also be applied on each bag individually as well.

Baggage fees are also calculated per route. So that means your bags will be charged once per way. If you’re going two ways, that’s two charges. If you’re boarding connecting flights, generally bags will automatically transfer so there will be no additional fees. However, if you are boarding connecting flights of different airlines, and those airlines don’t have a baggage deal between them, you will likely have to pay for the extra routes. You’d also have to pay more in the event that you purchase separate tickets for your flights.

Although there are a plethora of websites and apps that offer convenient airline ticket services, these charges are determined by the airlines and remain unchanged regardless of your place or method of purchase. If you’re using a third party website and you can’t find the price listed, that’s probably because the original airline’s website doesn’t show it, not that the third party one has a better offer. However, airlines that don’t transparently show their fee, or price, or anything for that matter, tend to be ultra-cheap airlines that either offer no-frills service or are filled to the brim with obnoxious surcharges.

There is a very simple way to get away with having to deal with the baggage fees altogether, and that is to acquire elite status of an airline. Most airlines will treat their top customers, i.e. the most frequent flyers, like kings and queens, with private lounge and exclusive services. Baggage, of course, is nothing of concern. Most airlines will not charge extra fees for elite travellers, or travellers holding exclusive membership cards, or sky alliance cards. Personnels of the U.S. Military can also enjoy these perks. There are other situations where passengers can enjoy these perks as well, such as those flying business or first class tickets, those who bought fully refundable fares, or those who have special airline credit cards.

Different bags will be priced differently. Image from Unsplash

The Most Popular Airline Baggage Fees Chart?

Domestic & International checked baggage size chart

Airline

Size limit

Weight limit

1st bag

Aer Lingus

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

Air Canada

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$30

Air France

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$65

Air India

62 in/158 cm

55 lbs/25 kg

Free

Alaska Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$30

Allegiant

62 in/158 cm

40 lbs/18 kg

$36-50**

Allegiant Air

80 in/203 cm

40 lbs/18 kg

$15

American Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$30*

Asiana Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

British Airways

35.5 x 29.5 x 16 in/90 x 75 x 41 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

Caribbean Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

Copa Airlines

62 in/158 cm

52 lbs/24 kg

Free

Delta Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$30*

easyJet

108 in/274 cm

up to 50 lbs/23 kg

From ~$9

Emirates Airline

59 in/150 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

Frontier Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$30-50**

Hawaiian Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$30

Icelandair

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

Interjet

N/A

55 lbs/25 kg

Free

Japan Airlines

79 in/201 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

JetBlue Airways

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$35

Korean Air

62 in/158 cm

70 lbs/32 kg

Free

Lufthansa

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

Norwegian Air

118 in/300 cm

70.5 lbs/33 kg

From ~$60

Philippine Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

Qatar Airlines

62 in/158 cm

2 bags of 50 lbs/23 kg per bag

Free

Ryanair

N/A

from 15-44 lbs/7-20 kg

From ~$30

Singapore Airlines

62 in/158 cm

66 lbs/30 kg

Free

Southwest Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

Free

Spirit Airlines

80 in/203 cm

40 lbs/18 kg

From $35

Turkish Airlines

62 in/158 cm

44 lbs/20 kg

Free

United Airlines

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

$35*

Volaris

62 in/158 cm

55 lbs/25 kg

Free

WestJet

62 in/158 cm

50 lbs/23 kg

From C$35

*This price only applies for domestic US travel. The 1st bag is free on international routes.

**This price varies depending on the purchase location (online, in airport, etc.

>> Check out carry-on baggage size chart here

Attention Premium Travellers!

First of all, congratulations! You are among the elite, enjoying perks most could never dream of.

But more importantly, travelling on air will be much less of a hassle. By and large, most airlines won’t charge their premium passengers baggage fees, regardless of whether you’re holding that airline’s program or its alliance partners. That means that you have more access to different routes from a variety of airlines.

Travelling with larger items

Obviously, the best way to reduce baggage fees, or avoid it altogether for that matter, is to pack less. That is, however, not always an option. This is especially true if you’re travelling with larger equipment.

These equipment are usually sports equipment, medical equipment, children items, etc. The thing with those is that they are inherently big and clunky, thus travelling with them in any kind of way, air or land or sea, is going to be tricky. We have you some tips in order to deal with them effectively:

With Sports Equipment

Consult the airline: While there exists a standard adopted by most airlines, each has its own way to go about excess baggage, which sports equipment tends to be. Therefore, checking with the airlines about your gears’ specs and how they fare with the airline’s policy is always the way to go. Additionally, it’s always best to contact the airline’s customer services to confirm with them. This is because sometimes the information provided on the airline official website isn’t very clear.

Bring collapsible items: While not all items are foldable (how do one fold a tennis racket, for instance?), if you do have one, do bring it. It’s even better if you have a model which can be disassembled and reassembled later on. This allows you to pack it in a backpack or a suitcase and check it normally, which will save you from “special item” charges.

Reconsider it: Is it really necessary to bring the equipment? Is there an alternative? Can I rent one at the destination? Some of these questions you should ask yourself when thinking of bringing sports equipment on board.

For Medical Equipment

Consult the airline: Similar yet dissimilar to the one above. In fact, many medical equipment can be brought on board free of charge, so that’s convenient. But more importantly, some medical equipment is provided by airlines for free, so you need to check to avoid the hassle. Furthermore, most airlines will check wheelchairs and scooters  in for free. Just contact them first so they can make the necessary preparations.

Breathing support: if you’re planning on travelling with an oxygen tank, visit a doctor beforehands as a document will be required. Note that you can’t bring your own oxygen tank. Therefore, consult your doctor and airline about the Department of Transportation-approved battery-powered oxygen concentrators allowed on-board.

Khoa Pham