The Top 7 U.S. Airlines' Baggage, Ticketing, and Pet Fees

Suitcase or luggage with conveyor belt in the international airport.

Mongkol Chuewong/Getty Images

 

Long gone are the days when your airline ticket covered the full cost of your flight. Fort Lauderdale-based Spirit Airlines started this rising fees trend when it began charging for checked luggage and almost every other service and amenity available. In 2016, ancillary revenue by the world’s top ten airlines reached $28 billion, according to a report by CarTrawler and IdeaWorks. Below is a list of fees charged by the top seven U.S. carriers.

Always check with your flight carrier beforehand to ensure prices and fees are accurate, as they are subject to change. 

  • 01 of 07
    American Airlines at its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport hub.

    Benet J. Wilson

    Ticketing Fees

    • Non-refundable ticket change fee: $200 for domestic travel and up to $750 for international travel
    • Same day change fee: $75 - $150
    • Reservation by phone fee: $25 domestic, $35 international
    • Reservation (ticket issue) at airport or city ticket offices, including. Admirals Club: $35 domestic, $45 international
    • Unaccompanied minor fee: $150+ tax each way

    Baggage Fees

    • First checked bag fee: $25 (free for most international destinations)
    • Second checked bag fee: $35
    • Third checked bag fee: $150
    • Fourth checked bag fee: $200
    • Overweight bags: $100 for 51-70 lbs; $200 for 71-100 lbs
    • Oversize bags: $200
    • Pet fees: In-cabin: $125, checked: $200

    Frequent Flier/AAdvantage Fees

    • AAdvantage 500 mile upgrade: $40 (including taxes) per upgrade
    • AAdvantage award processing: $75 if booked 20 or fewer days before departure
    • Date/itinerary change: $150 (waived for Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, Platinum or Gold members)
    • Redeposit Miles: $150 (all additional award tickets returning to the same account at the same time are $25 each)
    • Same day change fee: $75

    Other Fees

    • Preferred seats: $4-$139 per flight; "Main Cabin Extra" seats $20-$195 per flight.
    • Priority boarding fee: $9-$74
  • 02 of 07
    Delta check-in at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

    Benet J. Wilson

    Ticketing Fees

    • Non-refundable ticket change fee: $200 to $500
    • Same day change fee: $75
    • Reservation by phone or ticket office fee: Previously $25-$35, now free!
    • Unaccompanied minor fee: $150+ ticket fare each way

    Baggage Fees

    • Carry on bag and one personal item: Free
    • First checked bag fee: $25 ($0 to international destinations except for Canada and Caribbean)
    • Second checked bag fee: $35 ($40-$100 for some international destinations)
    • Additional bags fee: $150 for the third bag; $200 each for bags 4-10
    • Overweight bags: $100 for 51-70lbs; $200 for 71-100lbs
    • Oversize bags: $150 - $300
    • Pet fees: In-cabin: $125 - $200, Checked: $200

    Frequent Flier/Sky Club Fees

    • In phone/in person ticketing: $25
    • Date/itinerary change: $150 (warning! no changes/cancellations are permitted within 72 hours of departure; all miles forfeited)
    • Redeposit miles: $150
    • Same day change fee: $50

    Other Fees

    • Preferred seats: Varies per flight.
    • Priority boarding fee: $15 per flight
  • 03 of 07
    United Airlines Economy Plus cabin

    United Airlines

    Ticketing Fees

    • Non-refundable ticket change fee: $200
    • Same day change fee: $75
    • Reservation by phone fee: $25
    • Unaccompanied minor fee: $150

    Baggage Fees

    • Carry on bag: Free
    • First checked bag fee: $25
    • Second checked bag fee: $35
    • Additional bags fee: $150 each (up to $200 on some international routes)
    • Overweight bags: $100 51-70lbs; $200 71-100lbs (up to $400 on some international routes)
    • Oversize bags: $200 (up to $200 on some international routes)
    • Pet fee: $125 in cabin; checked pets - check current rates

    Frequent Flier/Mileage Plus Fees

    • Last-minute ticketing: $75 if booked within 20 days of departure (Free to $50 for frequent flyer members with status)
    • In phone/in person ticketing: $25
    • Date/itinerary change: $75 if made 21 or more days prior to travel; $100 if made less than 21 days (lower or no fees for frequent flyer members with status)
    • Redeposit miles: Depends on the number of miles
    • Same day change fee: $75

    Other Fees

    • Seat selection fee: None, unless you choose an extra-legroom seat.
    • Other fees: "Premier Access" fee (priority check-in, TSA lines, and boarding) $9 and up per flight.
  • 04 of 07
    Southwest Airlines plane interior

    Kevin Dooley/Wikimedia Commons

    Ticketing Fees

    • Non-refundable ticket change fee: Free
    • Same day change fee: None but any fare difference will apply
    • Reservation by phone fee: Free
    • Unaccompanied minor fee: $50 each way (up to 12)

    Baggage Fees

    • Carry on bag: Free
    • First checked bag: Free
    • Second checked bag: Free
    • Additional bags fee: $50 each for 3-9 bags; $110 each for more
    • Overweight bags: $75
    • Oversize bags: $75
    • Pet Fees: In-cabin: $95, Checked: not allowed

    Frequent Flier/Rapid Rewards Fees

    • In phone/in person ticketing: $0
    • Date/itinerary change: $0 (but any fare difference will apply)
    • Redeposit miles: $0
    • Same day change fee: depends on the type of award and possible point difference

    Other Fees

    • Seat selection fee: none
    • Priority Boarding fee: early bird check-in $12.50 each way
    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    JetBlue Airbus A321 jet

    JetBlue

    Ticketing Fees

    • Non-refundable ticket change fee: 
      • $75 (fares up to $99)
      • $100 (fares up to $149)
      • $150 (fares $149+)
    • Same-day change fee: $50 for Blue, Blue Plus and Mint fares
    • Unaccompanied minor fee: $100

    Baggage Fees

    • First checked bag: Free for Blue Plus, Blue Flex, and Mint fares; for Blue Same day, $25 for the first bag for all other passengers.
    • Second checked bag: $35
    • Additional bags fee: $100 each
    • Overweight bags: $100 for up to 51-99 lbs.
    • Oversize bags: $100 up to 63" in (160 cm) – 80 in (203.3 cm)(including wheels and handles)
    • Pet flight fee: $100

    Frequent Flier/True Blue Fees

    • In phone/in person ticketing: $25
    • Redeposit Miles: $50-$100
    • Same day change fee: $50

    Other Fees

    • Seat selection fee: "Even More Space" seats with extra legroom: $10-$90 per flight.
    • "Even More Speed" expedited security screening (at available airports): $10-$14 for Blue and Blue Plus fares.
  • 06 of 07
    Alaska Airlines Boeing 737

    Alaska Airlines

    Ticketing Fees

    • Preferred Plus seats: $15-$50
    • Call center ticketing fee: $15
    • Paper itinerary mailing fee: $5
    • Partner award booking fee: $12.50
    • Same-day confirmed changes: $25
    • Change/cancellation fee for changes made less than 60 days prior to ticketed flight departure: $125
    • Ticket receipt research fee: $20
    • Unaccompanied minor service fee: $25-$50
    • Pet travel fee: $100
    • Left on board item return fee: $20

    Baggage Fees

    • First bag: $25 for bags that weigh up to 50 lbs and have a maximum dimension of 62" (linear).
    • Second bag: $25.
    • Additional bags fee: $75 each.
    • Bags that weigh 51-100 lbs.: $75.
    • Bags with a linear dimension of 63-115" (linear): $75.
  • 07 of 07
    Spirit Airlines engine

    Spirit Airlines

    Ticketing Fees

    • Boarding pass printed at airport kiosk: $2 per boarding pass
    • Boarding pass printed by airport agent: $10 per boarding pass
    • Unaccompanied minor fee: $100 per customer, each way
    • Pet transportation (Limit 4 pets total in the cabin): $110 per pet container, each way
    • Reservation center booking (including packages): $35 per booking
    • Group booking: $5 per booking
    • Spirit assigned seating at check-in: Free
    • Customer-requested seat assignments/regular seats: $1 to $50
    • Big Front Seats (in advance): $12 to $150
    • Big Front Seats (onboard upgrades—depending on flight length): $25 to $175

    Baggage Fees

    One personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop bag) per passenger fee is free.

    Baggage fees are determined by a few factors including destination and time of reservation. To calculate potential baggage fees, visit Spirit Airlines' optional services website.