United Airlines Baggage Policy

United Airlines Baggage Policy

Traveling is fun, but familiarizing with baggage policies is a must to avoid last-minute problems. For those taking a flight with United Airlines, this blog will provide a detailed explanation of the United Airlines baggage policy. Everything will be covered here including the items that you can take with you for free. By reading this blog, you will get all the necessary tips to avoid any problems at the airport.

United Airlines is a leading airline that ensures travel by customers from all over the world. However, enough knowledge of their baggage rules is needed regardless of the destination point, and the class. Here, you will find all the necessary information to guide you through their baggage policy.

Overview of United Airlines Baggage Policy

Before you start packing your suitcase, get familiar with the United Airlines Baggage guidelines. All your personal belongings will be covered here. Their baggage policy covers all the luggage details from carry-on to the checked baggage. In this blog, you will learn everything from United Airlines Baggage Suggestions to size requirements. All the dos and don’ts will be covered, so pack usefully keeping it safety.

United Airlines Carry-On Baggage

United Airlines carry on baggage rules are pretty easy and simple. The baggage is a personal item and an additional carry-on bag only . There will be no charges if the luggage fits the following size limitations. All that you will be taking with you must be somewhere here:

  • Carry-On Bag: 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 35 x 23 cm)
  • Personal Item: 17 x 10 x 9 inches (43 x 25 x 22 cm)

Remember, there are prohibited items to take when packing your luggage. You should forget about everything like liquids more than 3.4 ounces or gels and aerosols.

Checked Baggage Policy for United Airlines

The United Airlines checked baggage policy can vary, but typically the first and second bags are permitted with a fee, depending on your flight route and ticket class. Size and weight are essential here as a standard checked bag should not exceed:

  • Dimensions: 62 inches (157 cm) when you total length + width + height
  • Weight: 50 pounds (23 kg) for Economy and 70 pounds (32 kg) for Business or First Class passengers

Additional Baggage Information

Hitting the ski slopes or a concert? United Airlines sports equipment and musical instrument policies provide for correct handling of your stuff, but there may be some extra fees and packing requirements, so be sure to check their website.

United Airlines Baggage Fees

When you fly with United Airlines, you often have to pay to check your bags. Here’s a simple guide to their baggage fees.

  • For flights around the United States and between U.S. and certain parts of North and Central America, expect your first checked bag to cost you somewhere around $35. If you have a second bag, expect a total of about $45. Prices may vary greatly if you are traveling with more than two bags or if the bags go over the weight and size limits United Airlines has. Fees also change often: to be sure, check the current ones on United Airlines official website before you travel or ask when you purchase the ticket.
  • For flights to more distant destinations, i.e. international flights, your first checked bag might not cost you extra. Actually, it depends where you’re going and what kind of ticket you purchased. Sometimes you can check 2 bags without extra charge. But these bags, of course, need to fit, weight, and size wise, with United Airlines’ allowances. If they do not, you will have to pay extra.
  • You have to pay $100 to $200 extra if your bags are too heavy or big. In other words, if your bags are over 50 pounds in weight or 62 inches in total length, width and height, you have to pay more. Oversized bags can cost even more than this amount. 
  • Thus, to avoid paying more than you have expected, you have to pack light as well as make sure your bags are not heavy or too big. Besides, you can apply for the United Airlines credit card or get the United Airlines loyalty program to obtain free bags or reduced fees. 

However, remember that each bag you check in is another fee. Check the maximum number of bags you can bring, consider the number of bags you are going to need and check this information at the airport to be sure of what you have and can or cannot afford.

United Airlines Hand Baggage Policy

The United Airlines hand baggage policy is what you can bring with you aboard the aircraft. Make sure your items, such as coats, umbrellas or reading material, meet their criteria and can comfortably fit under the seat in front of you or above you.

Traveling with Pets on United Airlines

United Airline’s Pet policy was developed to ensure your pawed friends can travel with ease. Some breeds, sizes, and health certificates are required, with costs depending on the pet’s size and the destination. Plan ahead if you have to take a pet with you.

Packing Tips

When preparing your bags for a flight with United Airlines, it’s clever to keep a few strategies in mind:

  1. Weigh Your Bags Beforehand: Avoid extra charges by checking your luggage weight at home. If it’s over the limit, consider what you can leave behind or repack.
  2. Know What’s Prohibited: Take a moment to look at the list of items you aren’t allowed to bring. This prevents issues at security checks.
  3. Pack Essentials in Carry-On: Always keep important stuff like medications, a change of clothes, and chargers in your carry-on. In case your checked luggage gets delayed, you’ll still have your basics.

Traveling with Special Items

United Airlines acknowledges that sometimes you have to travel with items that do not fit easily in a suitcase. Here is a simplified guide of what to do if you have sports equipment, your musical instrument, or something else:

  • Sports Equipment: Sports equipment will usually be accepted as checked baggage and included in the free baggage allowance. This includes golf clubs, ski equipment, or surfboard, but with some limits on size and weight. An additional oversized baggage charge will be applied in case of add-ons to these limits.
  • Musical Instruments: You musical instrument can be carried on board, checked, or secured on the bought seat, depending on size. A small instrument, such as a violin, will fit in the overhead bin or under the seat. However, remember that others may also bring small items. Otherwise, the instrument may be transported as checked baggage.

United’s MileagePlus Program and Baggage

If you’re a member of United’s MileagePlus program, you may also be allowed additional baggage if you’re at the higher tiers:

  • Extra Baggage Allowance: Depending on which status you hold, you might be allowed a certain number of bags checked for free.
  • Waived Fees: Higher-status members will be more likely to have their overweight or extra luggage fee waived, which is more convenient and cost-effective.

Tips for Avoiding Baggage Fees

Here is how you can avoid paying baggage fees:

  1. Pack Light: Do not bring more than you truly need. Packing efficiently in terms of what you bring and in space-saving ways can help you stay within carry-on limits.
  2. Check Your Ticket: Different ticket types, varying in class and premium, usually have varying levels of free checked baggage. Check your ticket’s benefits.
  3. Use a United Airlines Credit Card: Some United Airlines credit cards have one free checked baggage claim per flight, based on the cardholder and often a companion.
  4. Gain Elite Status: Frequent flyers can receive more luggage allowances by attaining certain statuses withing the MileagePlus program.

For Domestic vs. International Flights

Baggage rules can be significantly different for domestic and international flights. In general, the latter tends to have more free checked baggage. Still, it ultimately depends on which class and where you are going to. Always look up your allowances before an international flight to avoid unfortunate surprises.

Handling Delays and Problems

Sometimes, despite having followed all guidelines, your bag may get delayed or damaged:

  • Delayed Baggage: If your baggage does not arrive with you, head over to the United Airlines baggage service office before the airport to file a report. They will track your bag and deliver it to your addresses.
  • Damaged Baggage: If you find your bag damaged, it is crucial to file a report timely. United Airlines will repair or reimburse you for the damage based on the policies.


Going on a trip? Not to spoil your experience, keep in mind United Airlines’ baggage policy, including carry-on, checked, and hand baggage rules, as well as understanding the baggage fees and pet policy. Learn more about the weight and size of baggage checked and carried onboard and carry only essentials for you. Good luck on your journey!

Firstly, you need to understand that for most United Airlines’ flights you will have to pay an extra charge. The amount of charges might vary a lot from case to case depending on what you are flying and what kind of experience you have booked. On most flights, especially longer international flights, the first checked bag might be not paid. Usually, baggage fees are high when the bags are too heavy or too big. Make sure to check how much and what can you check and whether it is included in the price. 

Also, consider joining the loyalty program or getting the credit card if you travel frequently – this might help you save you some money. Least but not last – pack light. Let’s enjoy your flight!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does United charge for the first checked bag?

For domestic flights within the U.S., the fee is usually about $35 for your first checked bag. Always check the latest fees on United’s website before you travel.

Can I bring a carry-on bag for free?

Yes, you are allowed to bring one personal item, like a purse or laptop bag, and one carry-on suitcase for free, provided they fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment.

What are the size and weight limits for checked bags?

Each checked bag must not exceed 50 pounds in weight or 62 inches in total dimensions (length + width + height) to avoid additional fees for overweight or oversized luggage.

How much do I have to pay for extra or overweight bags?

For bags weighing more than 50 pounds, fees start at $100. Additional bags beyond the first two can incur charges starting at $150 each, so consider packing less to save money.

Do I get any free checked bags on international flights?

Many international flights permit one free checked bag, but this can vary based on the destination and the type of ticket purchased, so checking your specific flight details beforehand is wise.

Are there any items I’m not allowed to check in or bring onboard?

United Airlines prohibits items such as explosives, flammable liquids, and certain kinds of batteries due to safety concerns. Always review the prohibited items list on United’s website before packing.

What if my baggage is lost or damaged?

It’s important to report lost or damaged baggage to United Airlines immediately, ideally before leaving the airport. They can then assist in tracking your luggage or compensating for damage.

Can I carry sports equipment or musical instruments?

Sports equipment and musical instruments may be carried on or checked, though they sometimes require special handling and could incur additional fees. Check the rules before packing these items.

What should I do if I’m traveling with a lot of bags?

If your travel plans involve many bags, contact United Airlines in advance to understand the costs and logistics, which helps in planning and could ease the check-in process.

How can I avoid paying baggage fees?

Avoid additional baggage fees by traveling light or packing smartly. Check if your airfare class includes free checked baggage, or leverage benefits from United’s loyalty program or a United-branded credit card.

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