Blog post by Wendy Cofer

Most airlines today charge a baggage fee.  Who would have ever imagined we would all be willing to pay this, but we do.  Only one airline still allows you two free bags (guess which one!).  But have you ever wondered if they have built those extra baggage fees into their prices?   

Spirit states “We believe in only paying for what you use, not what you don’t.  Control your options and never pay for someone else’s “free” bags.”  However they charge for every bag but your one personal item.  Some airlines offer if you use their credit card you will get at least one free bag or have you have a high enough status in their mileage plan you could get up to three free bags. 

In the past I have seen discounts on bags if you check them in online.  So when looking at fares and comparing the lowest price keep in mind how many bags are you going to check, are you checking online or at the airport as those add-on fees greatly impact the overall price of that trip.  

Oh, and one more thing.  If traveling during the holidays doesn’t stress you out enough keep in mind Spirit is going to charge more for their baggage on flights from the 18th of December until the 5th of January.

 

Following is a summary of the top US carriers for comparison.

 

AIRLINE

1 CARRY ON

1 PERSONAL ITEM

1ST CHECKED

2ND CHECKED

3RD CHECKED

ANY ADD'L

American

Free

Free

$25

$35

$150

$200

Delta

Free

Free

$25

$35

$150

$150

JetBlue

Free

Free

Free

$50

$100

$100

Spirit

$26-$100*

Free

$21-100

$31-100

$76-100**

$76-100**

Southwest

Free

Free

Free

Free

$50**

$50**

United

Free

Free

$25

$35

$100

$100

US Airways

Free

Free

$25

$35

$150

$200

*in the overhead bin **up to 5 bags

American – One carry-on free, One personal item free, First checked bag fee $25, Second checked bag fee $35, Third checked bag fee $150, Any additional after the third bag is $200 per each additional bag

Delta - One carry-on free, One personal item free, First checked bag fee $25, Second checked bag fee $35, Any additional after the second bag is $150 per each additional bag

Jetblue - One carry-on – free, One personal item free, First checked bag free, Second checked bag fee $50, Any additional after the second bag is $100 per each additional bag

Spirit - One carry-on – $26 to $100 for bags in overhead bin, One personal item free, First checked bag fee $21 - $100, Second checked bag fee $31 -$100, Any additional after the second bag is $76 -$100 per each additional bag up to 5 bags

Southwest - One carry-on – free, One personal item free, First checked bag free, Second checked bag free, Any additional after the second bag is $50 per each additional bag up to 5 bags

United - One carry-on free, One personal item free, First checked bag fee $25, Second checked bag fee $35, Any additional after the second bag is $100 per each additional bag

US Airways - One carry-on free, One personal item free, First checked bag fee $25, Second checked bag fee $35, Third checked bag fee $150, Any additional after the third bag is $200 per each additional bag.

*All information is accurate at the time of writing and is always subject to change by the carrier.