One way Skyscanner makes your trip easier, pandemic or not, is by spelling out must-know travel information as clearly as possible. Airline baggage fees, for example, can be famously confusing. This is true whether you have a carry-on or checked bag, and can differ if you’re traveling domestically vs. internationally. We hope that this guide will clear up any questions about checked baggage or carry-on fees, as the case may be!
Domestic & International checked baggage size chart
|Airline||Checked Bag Size||Checked Bag Weight||1st Checked Bag Fee|
|American Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||$30*|
|Delta Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||$30*|
|United Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||$35*|
|Southwest Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||Free|
|JetBlue Airways||62 in||50 lbs||$35|
|Alaska Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||$30|
|Spirit Airlines||80 in||40 lbs||From $35|
|Allegiant||62 in||40 lbs||$36-50**|
|Frontier Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||$30-50**|
|Hawaiian Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||$30|
|British Airways||35.5 x 29.5 x 16 in||50 lbs||Free|
|Norwegian Air||118 in||70.5 lbs||From €50 (~$60)|
|Korean Air||62 in||70 lbs||Free|
|Asiana Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||Free|
|Emirates Airline||59 in||50 lbs||Free|
|Air India||62 in||55 lbs||Free|
|Turkish Airlines||62 in||44 lbs||Free|
|Qatar Airlines||62 in||2 bags (50 lbs per bag)||Free|
|Japan Airlines||79 in||50 lbs||Free|
|Allegiant Air||80 in||40 lbs||$15|
|Volaris||62 in||55 lbs||Free|
|Lufthansa||62 in||50 lbs||Free|
|Air Canada||62 in||50 lbs||$30|
|Air France||62 in||50 lbs||€35 (~$65)|
|Copa Airlines||62 in||52 lbs||Free|
|Ryanair||N/A||from 15 lbs-44 lbs||From €20 (~$30)|
|WestJet||62 in||50 lbs||From C$35|
|Singapore Airlines||62 in||66 lbs||Free|
|Aer Lingus||62 in||50 lbs||Free|
|Caribbean Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||Free|
|Philippine Airlines||62 in||50 lbs||Free|
|Icelandair||62 in||50 lbs||Free|
|easyJet||108 in||up to 50 lbs||From £6.99 (~$9)|
*Domestic US travel only. For international flights, your first checked bag is free, subject to size limitations.
**This fee varies depending on whether you pay during online check-in or at the airport.
Domestic & International carry-on baggage size chart
|Airline||Carry On Fee||Domestic Size; Weight (N/A unless noted)||International Size; Weight (N/A unless noted)|
|American Airlines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9||22 x 14 x 9|
|Delta Air Lines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9||22 x 14 x 9|
|United Airlines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9||22 x 14 x 9|
|Southwest Airlines||Free||10 x 16 x 24||10 x 16 x 24|
|JetBlue Airways||Free||22 x 14 x 9||22 x 14 x 9|
|Alaska Airlines||Free||22 x 14 x 9||22 x 14 x 9|
|Spirit Airlines||From $26||18 x 14 x 8||18 x 14 x 8|
|Frontier Airlines||Free||24 x 10 x 16; 35 lbs||24 x 10 x 16; 35 lbs|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Free||22 x 14 x 9; 25 lbs||22 x 14 x 9; 25 lbs|
|British Airways||Free||22 x 18 x 10; 51 lbs||22 x 18 x 10; 51 lbs|
|Norwegian Air||Free||21.7 x 15.7 x 7.9; 22 lbs||21.7 x 15.7 x 7.9; 22 lbs|
|Korean Air||Free||45″; 25 lbs||45″; 25 lbs|
|Asiana Airlines||Free||21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8; 22 lbs||21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8; 22 lbs|
|Emirates Airline**||Free||22 x 15 x 8; 15 lbs||22 x 15 x 8; 15 lbs|
|Air India||Free||22 x 14 x 8; 17 lbs||22 x 14 x 8; 17 lbs|
|Turkish Airlines**||Free||21.6 x 15.6 x 9; 17.6lbs||21.6 x 15.6 x 9; 17.6lbs|
|Qatar Airlines||Free||20 x 15 x 10; 15lbs||20 x 15 x 10; 15lbs|
|Japan Airlines||Free||22 x 16 x 10; 22lbs||22 x 16 x 10; 22lbs|
|Allegiant Air||From $18||22 x 14 x 9; 25lbs||22 x 14 x 9; 25lbs|
|Volaris||Free||22.4 x 15.7 x 12.9*; 42lbs||22.4 x 15.7 x 12.9*; 42lbs|
|Lufthansa||Free||22 x 16 x 9; 17lbs||22 x 16 x 9; 17lbs|
|Air Canada||Free||9 x 15.5 x 21.5||9 x 15.5 x 21.5|
|Air France||Free||21 x 13 x 9; 26lbs||21 x 13 x 9; 26lbs|
|Copa Airlines||Free||22 x 14 x 10; 22 lbs||22 x 14 x 10; 22 lbs|
|Ryanair||Free||21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8; 22lbs||21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8; 22lbs|
|WestJet||Free||21 x 9 x 15||21 x 9 x 15|
|Singapore Airlines||Free||45 x 8; 15 lbs||45 x 8; 15 lbs|
|Aer Lingus||Free||21.5 x 15.5 x 9.5; 22lbs||21.5 x 15.5 x 9.5; 22lbs|
|Interjet||Free||21 x 15 x 9; 22lbs||21 x 15 x 9; 22lbs|
|Caribbean Airlines||Free||45 in; 22 lbs||45 in; 22 lbs|
|Philippine Airlines||Free||45 in; 15 lbs||45 in; 15 lbs|
|Icelandair||Free||21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8; 22lbs||21.6 x 15.7 x 7.8; 22lbs|
|easyJet||Free||22 x 17.7 x 9.8||22 x 17.7 x 9.8|
*These airlines forbid carry-on baggage for passengers who purchase “Basic Economy” fares. However, you can usually bring a personal item like a purse or diaper bag.
**During the COVID-19 pandemic, these airlines have temporarily suspended the carriage of non-essential items into the cabin. Make sure to verify your airline’s specific policies before heading to the airport to avoid a surprise at the check-in counter!
A note for premium passengers
Generally speaking, you won’t pay to check or carry-on bags if you’re flying in first or business class, or if you’re an elite passenger. For elite travelers, this is regardless of whether you hold status in an airline’s own frequent flyer program (for example, American Airlines AAdvantage Gold, Platinum or Executive Platinum) or for its alliance partners (in the case of American, elite status with airlines such as Japan Airlines or Qantas will result in Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald Oneworld status).
Traveling with larger items
The easiest way to save on baggage fees is to pack less, but sadly that’s not always an option. This is particularly true if you’re traveling with large items including sports equipment, medical equipment, or even children’s items. Here are some tips to make it easier, and help reduce fees.
For sports equipment
- Check with the airline: Do they charge by the object (ie: per surfboard) or by the bag? If it’s by the bag, you’ll have an easier time transporting multiple items and be able to save yourself some money.
- Make it look as normal as possible: While there is no disguising a surfboard, some bigger items, such as a bicycle, can be broken down into the frame and wheels. If you are able to pack them separately into normal-looking suitcases, you will save yourself by not paying checked baggage fees for a ‘special item’.
- Reconsider: Is your own personal sporting equipment really necessary? It may be much more budget-friendly to just rent what you need at your end destination. Or, if you’re planning to stay a long time, to ship the item to yourself using a service like UPS or DHL.
For medical equipment
- Contact local hotels: For wheelchair users, especially those who need lifts, the first thing you should do is get in touch with local hotels to see if they have their own lifts or ceiling hoists. That way you don’t need to bring your own lift.
- Bring a portable shower chair: While a collapsible shower chair may not be ideal for everyday use, they are definitely handy when traveling. Plus, some models can be folded up to fit in a suitcase, waving any extra ‘special items’ fees.
- Get in touch with your airline: Most airlines will stow wheelchairs and scooters free of charge in the hold, but it’s best to reach out to them ahead of time to confirm this, especially as preparations will need to be made. If you have an electric wheelchair, be sure to notify them as the battery may need special storage during the flight.
- CPAP machines: Travelers requiring CPAP machines should also get in touch with the airlines ahead of time. While they are considered to be carry-on items, there may be rules about using the machine during the flight.
- Oxygen tanks: It is important to note that if you plan on traveling with oxygen, you will need to visit your doctor ahead of time to get the necessary paperwork. Your own Oxygen tanks are not allowed as check-in luggage, however empty FAA-approved tanks can be checked. If you need something on board, talk to your doctor about the Department of Transportation-approved battery-powered oxygen concentrators that are permitted on flights.
For children’s items (car seats and strollers)
Car seats and strollers are common items for families traveling with young children, and airlines are pretty good at accepting them at no additional fee. However, this is not always the case and some airlines do have restrictions so call ahead and ask.
- Strollers can be either checked in when you arrive at the airport or checked in at the gate. Given the size, they are rarely allowed as carry-on luggage.
- Car seats can often be carried on board, but they do need to be FAA-approved. If you don’t want to carry on the car seat, it’s recommended to store it in a duffel bag so it doesn’t get dirty.
With both car seats and strollers, smaller is always better.
Travel tips and hacks
Need more tips and advice about traveling in the COVID era? Check out these articles below:
Is carry-on or checked baggage better?
For many of us, the answer is “both!” Depending on the luggage allowance your airline provides, you may want to take advantage of every square inch. If you’re just going for a weekend, or if you generally like to travel light, the advantages of having less to lug may win out. Even with a single bag, whether you decide to check or carry-on can depend on several factors.
The convenience of checked and carry-on baggage
A carry-on bag lets you access your belongings in-flight. It also permits you to keep valuables within sight, and there’s no waiting around by the baggage claim after you land. On the other hand, checking your luggage means that you can just hand it over and not worry about dragging it through security and the rest of the airport. Just be sure to arrive in plenty of time to check your bags. A minimum of 30-40 minutes before your flight is recommended, but check with your airline, especially for international flights.
The items you’re planning to bring
The contents of all baggage are subject to rules and regulations enforced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), but carry-on luggage has to meet a more stringent set of restrictions. While we all know better than to bring the obvious contraband (explosives spring to mind), some prohibitions are not so predictable. The guidelines change from time to time, so it makes sense to review the rules before you fly. This official TSA list is clear on what you can carry on and what needs to be checked.
Understand Airline Restrictions for carry-on and checked baggage sizes
Airlines can be very strict about the size of carry-on luggage. For safety reasons, your bag must be able to fit in overhead bins or under the seat in front of you. If a carry-on bag or personal item is too big, it will have to be checked. Depending on the airline, gate-checking an oversized bag can be subject to unpleasant fees. Planning ahead will spare you any awkward surprises.
Understanding the ins-and-outs of airline baggage fees can seem complicated, especially during the COVID-era. However, thanks to this easy-to-follow guide, it takes just a few seconds to verify checked baggage fees for the airline you’re flying, as well as carry-on fees and other potential charges. The question now is where you’ll travel and what you’ll do. We hope you’ll seek out some inspiration, now that you have the information you need!