How Much Does United Charge for Bags

How Much Does United Charge for Bags? Baggage fees merely add to the expenditures of traveling. United Airlines is one of the few U.S. airlines that charges a fee for checking a bag on domestic flights. If you’re flying with a significant other or family, learning how to avoid paying for checked bags on United Airlines may save you a lot of money. Let’s have a look at how much checked baggage costs on United Airlines and how to avoid them in order to save some money.

What is the luggage policy of United Airlines?

United Airlines’ specific baggage restrictions and prices vary according to your fare class, MileagePlus status, whether you’re checking or carrying on your luggage, and the weight and size of your bag.

However, regardless of whether it’s a checked or carry-on luggage, any bag equipped with lithium batteries must be removed and stored with you on all United flights. Other restricted things, such as oxygen bottles, explosives, and paints, are often prohibited by federal law. For further information, please visit United’s hazardous items website or the TSA’s What Can I Bring page.


United passengers are permitted to bring one compact personal item, such as a handbag or laptop bag (maximum dimensions 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches), and one carry-on bag (maximum dimensions 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches).

United Airlines will also allow you to bring other goods in addition to their carry-on luggage limitations, including the following:

  • Airport purchases — think food, reading material, and souvenirs
  • Collapsible wheelchairs and crutches are examples of assistive aids.
  • Child restraint devices or safety seats that have been authorized by the FAA
  • Bag for diapers and breast pump
  • Stroller that folds (as long as it fits within the carry-on dimensions)
  • Carrying case for pets

There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. A full-size carry-on is not permitted unless the ticket bearer is on a transatlantic trip, is a MileagePlus Premier member, or is the principal cardholder using a qualified MileagePlus credit card for those who purchase a Basic Economy ticket. Passengers in Basic Economy must pay an extra $25 gate handling fee on top of the usual checked-bag fare if they arrive at the airport with an ineligible carry-on.

If the overhead bins on United Express flights are too tiny to fit your carry-on luggage, you may have to check it at the gate.

Checked bags

No matter where you fly, your class of service, and how many bags you check determine how much you’ll have to pay in checked baggage costs. The first bag costs around $30, the second costs around $40, and the third costs over $150 for domestic flights in economy. Up to two bags can be checked for free when using premium tickets.

The first checked bag is free for Economy travellers flying internationally; a second bag costs $100 and a third bag costs $200. The first two bags are usually complimentary for premium travelers.’s baggage calculator may be used to determine the precise cost of your luggage. For Economy fares, the maximum weight for checked luggage is 50 pounds. The maximum weight limit for business, first class, Star Alliance Gold, and MileagePlus Premier members is 70 pounds. 62 linear inches is the maximum length of a checked bag’s exterior.
Oversized and overweight bags will be charged an additional price of $200 and $100 to $400, respectively.

Bags weighing more than 100 pounds or measuring more than 115 linear inches will not be allowed on the plane. Excess baggage fees might vary from $150 to $500 if you need to check more than three bags. It’s vital to keep in mind that United Airlines imposes restrictions on the amount of extra baggage that may be taken on specific flights. They have a page on checked luggage embargoes, so check it out.

Checked bags can be paid for using a credit card at the airport check-in counter or online during the online check-in process. Ensure that you understand that prepayment means that if you end up checking fewer baggage, you will not be entitled for any refunds.

How to avoid checked bag fees on United Airlines

There are methods to avoid paying checked luggage fees, but they may add up quickly. United Airlines baggage costs can be avoided by following these tips.

  • Only pack a carry-on. You won’t have to pay for checked baggage if you can fit everything in your personal and carry-on luggage. Basic Economy passengers may only carry one personal item on board a plane, so keep that in mind. Make sure you read the tiny print to avoid being surprised by baggage allowances.
  • Join the United loyalty program. If you’re a United MileagePlus Premier member, you’ll get complimentary checked baggage as part of the program. A specified amount of Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or Premier qualifying segments must be earned in order to achieve this level (PQS). If you live in the United States and take at least four flights or segments within a calendar year, you must also fulfill a minimum yearly spending criteria to qualify.

Silver, Gold, Platinum, and 1K are the four Premier levels. As a Premier member, you may be eligible for up to three complimentary checked baggage, depending on the ticket class you booked and your Premier membership level. More free bags are available to you if your status is higher.

  • Buy a premium ticket. In order to avoid paying the checked bag cost associated with United Economy class tickets, consider purchasing a Premium Economy class ticket (or above). These classes are eligible for free baggage allowance of up to two checked bags. Extra costs may be applied if your bag is deemed overweight or excessive.
  • Bring your proof of military documents. For active U.S. military members, checked baggage costs are often waived. You can check up to three bags carrying a total of 70 pounds for free when traveling on your own. Up to five free baggage each weighing up to 100 pounds are allowed for business travelers.
    In some cases, dependents of serving members of the military may also be eligible for these same benefits.
  • Get a United credit card. Benefits like free checked luggage, statement credits for specific transactions, and additional reward miles may all be yours with a United Airlines credit card. Your creditworthiness determines whether or not you are eligible for one of these credit cards. For those who often fly United, the application process for a United credit card may be worthwhile. Choosing the proper credit card may reduce your out-of-pocket expenses while also providing benefits that enhance your flight experience. 

How much does it cost to check a bag on United?

United Airlines will charge you up to $35 for your first checked bag on domestic flights inside the United States. Adding a second bag costs up to $45, while adding a third or more bags costs $150. When checking a United Airlines luggage, bear in mind the airline’s size and weight regulations.

Checked baggage must not exceed 50 pounds for economy-class passengers. There is a 70-pound weight limit on checked luggage for United’s first and business classes, as well as for MileagePlus members who have achieved Premier status. All luggage, regardless of the person carrying it, must not exceed 62 inches in length, including the length of any wheels or handles.

Bottom line

If you take the time to figure out which technique is best for you, you may save money on United Airlines baggage costs. Consider obtaining MileagePlus Premier status, using a rewards credit card, or traveling minimally. In any case, read the tiny print so you don’t be caught off guard at the time of check-in.

About the author: David Krug is the CEO & President of bankovia. He’s a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he’s not reading about cryptocurrencies, he’s researching the latest personal finance software.