Does United Airlines Charge For Bags?

United Airlines baggage fees are often higher than the amount of free baggage they offer. They vary depending on several factors, such as your status with the airline, how long you’ll stay with the company, and what kind of ticket you have.

There are still a number of ways to avoid paying for your bags when flying United. This guide will help you avoid getting caught up in the fees that the airline makes from handling your bags.

A Breakdown of United Airlines Baggage Fees

Like all airlines, United’s baggage policy is complex. Depending on how long you stay with the company, the amount of free or charged baggage fees will vary.

Fortunately, United has a baggage fee calculator that can help you figure out what United charges for your bags.

United Airlines Baggage Fees Example

By pre-paying for your bag on United’s website at least 24 hours before your flight, you can get $5 off on flights to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.

The biggest difference between United’s baggage fees and the cost of a standard economy ticket is the type of ticket you bought. It can vary depending on the flight you’re flying and the airport.

The cost of United’s checked bag fees is shown in the table below. It’s also worth noting that some flights will require an extra $5 to cover the discount.

Different Classes Baggage Fees

Basic Economy Baggage Fees

Flying United’s cheapest basic economy fares mean you may have to pay more for your bags, depending on where you’re going.

Economy Baggage Fees

Although United’s basic economy fares are usually the same, there are a few exceptions. For example, checking the first bag is free in Europe and South America.

Premium Plus, Business Class & First Class Baggage Fees

All Premium Economy tickets and up are free. However, if you have an extra bag, you’ll need to pay for it separately.

United’s Carry On Bag Policy

United’s carry-on bag allowance policy is different from its domestic rivals. Instead of having a personal item onboard, its customers are only allowed to bring a small bag, backpack, or purse.

Due to this policy, you can’t check in using a basic economy ticket online. You’ll also have to pay the checked bag fee and another $25 fee if you bring a carry-on bag.

One of the most restrictive policies in the US is the United’s carry-on bag policy. If you’re travelling with a carry-on bag, you’ll need to pay the additional $25 fee.

To avoid getting charged an oversized baggage fee, all bags must be no more than 62 inches wide or 157 centimetres long. They can only be checked from 63 to 115 inches wide.

Although the carry-on bag limits vary depending on the type of ticket you buy, the average checked bag weight generally ranges from 25 to 50 pounds.

United Airlines baggage fees weight

United also offers free car seats and strollers for children. It also accepts wheelchairs and other mobility devices for free on all its flights.

Pets: In-cabin pets are charged $125 each way and can be checked for up to four hours in the US. However, United’s PetSafe program was suspended in April 2021.

Customers can carry up to two snowboards or skis with them on flights. However, they must follow weight and size restrictions to be considered a regular bag.

One big advantage of carrying two skis or snowboards is that they can be checked without additional fees.

Bicycles: United charges $150 each way for riders to bring two bicycles in containers.

Hockey and lacrosse equipment are also charged the same as regular baggage. However, they’ll also include two hockey sticks and a bag at no additional cost.

Related: What is United Airlines Baggage Policy?

Baggage Alternatives

United also offers other options to avoid paying for baggage fees. Some of these include sending your luggage to your destination for a flat fee.

A United baggage subscription can give you two bags per flight. However, it won’t cover the additional fees for overweight and oversized bags.

The cost depends on how many bags you want to check and where you’re going. For instance, a plan that gives you two bags for $349 is usually cheaper than one that gives you seven bags for $899.

Through its partnership with BagsVIP, United can now offer a way to get your bags to their destination without waiting for them at the airport.

United Airlines Baggage Fees BagsVIP

If your destination is within 100 miles of the airport, then you can use the BagsVIP service to get your bags delivered. Delivery of one or two bags costs $40, while the additional bags are $10 each.

Although it’s possible to save a lot of money by avoiding United Airlines’ baggage fees, doing so is not always an ideal option.

How to Avoid United Airlines Baggage Fees

No one likes paying for baggage. Fortunately, there are a number of tricks and tips that can help you avoid paying United’s fees.

For instance, if you’re travelling to a military base or another country, United will give you two free bags on all its flights.

Related: Can I File a Lost Baggage Claim After I Leave the Airport?

Pack in Just a Carry-On Bag

The first and best way to avoid paying United’s baggage fees is by packing a little less. You can always bring a carry-on bag with you if you bought a basic economy ticket.

A carry-on bag saves you time and stress by allowing you to check-in and retrieve your bag without having to wait in the airport’s baggage carousel.

United Credit Card

Getting a carried-on bag is a bit challenging when you’re used to taking a heavy bag on every trip. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without any problems.

United Explorer Credit Card

With the United Quest Card, you’ll get free checked bags on any flight. It’s also a great way to save money on your travel expenses.

Star Alliance members don’t have to pay the usual baggage fees if they use a partner carrier. They can get a free bag with their Star Alliance Gold status.

All United Premier Silver, Gold, and Platinum members receive at least one free bag.

Fly Up Front in Premium Plus or Higher

United’s two free checked bags policy applies to everyone who uses its Premium Plus or United Polaris first-class ticket.

Almost any co-branded credit card can give you a free bag when you fly with United. However, to get the bag, you have to pay for the flight using your card.

The easiest way to get a free bag is by using the United Explorer Card. It gives you one bag free on any flight with United.

The Explorer Card’s annual fee is only $95 after just two roundtrip flights.

Bottom Line

Like other airlines, United has its own baggage fees. The exact amount that you pay depends on the type of ticket you buy and your destination.