Baggage Policies for North American-based Budget Airlines

Pay the Fees

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Photo courtesy of Kenneth Lu, via Flickr (http://bit.ly/1fR94NJ)

Low-cost airlines charge myriad fees for carry-on, checked and oversized/special baggage. It can be hard to keep track, so we've rounded up the fees on six U.S.-based carriers. 

Baggage Allowance: Travelers can bring one standard item, like a roller board suitcase, and a personal item like a purse or a laptop bag. Rouge charges $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for a second bag.

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: Most sports item are allowed on the carrier under the checked baggage fee. Bicycles, firearms and surfboards are subject to a handling fee of $50.00-$59.00. Click here for items not allowed on Rouge flights.

Baggage Allowance: Travelers can carry one personal bag that fits under the seat for free. The Las Vegas-based carrier charges bag fees based on the distance flown, ranging from $18 to $50 for each bag. Fees are cheaper when paid at booking or pre-departure. The complete fee table is here.

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: Additional charges may apply. Overweight Bags: Over 40 and under 70 pounds, $50.00; overweight bags between 71 and 100 pounds, $75.00; and oversize checked bags with a height + width + depth in excess of 80 linear inches, $75.00. Baggage Policy

Frontier Airlines
Baggage Allowance: Bag fees depend on when you pay for them. For carry-on bags, fees range from $35 when booking online to $60 at the gate. Fees for the first bag range from $30 to 60, $40-$45 for the second bag and $75-$80 for the third bag. Passengers can carry one free item (purse, briefcase or computer bag) and it must fit under the seat.

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: For Frontier's complete list of fees for special items, please view Sporting Equipment & Special/Fragile Items PDFBaggage Policy

Baggage Allowance: This Mexico City-based low-cost carrier allows travelers to bring two carry-on bags for free. And they can bring up to three checked bags for free, depending on the fare they purchase.

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: Most sports equipment counts toward the carrier's baggage allowances. Overweight or oversized items are charged a $50.00 fee.

JetBlue
Baggage Allowance: The airline has three fare levels that cover baggage fees. Blue fares charge $20 for the first bag (checked in online) or $25 at the airport. Blue Plus fares allow for one free bag. Second and third bags cost $35 and $100, respectively, under the first two fares. Blue Flex allows for two free bags, with a $100 charge for the third bag.

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: Golf equipment is accepted on all flights. There is no additional charge or oversized fee for golf bags as long as they are within weight limitations. A golf bag will count as one of your checked bags. See a complete list of sporting equipment hereBaggage Policy

Southwest Airlines

Baggage Allowance: Southwest allows two checked pieces at a maximum of 50 pounds per piece. Extra bags will cost $75.00 per item each way. Excess baggage fees for oversized luggage for $75. 

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions- Several sports items may be checked in for free and count toward the free luggage allowance. Heavier and larger equipment, for the most part, may be checked for a cost of $50 per direction. Strollers/car seats can be checked for free. Baggage Policy

Spirit Airlines
Baggage Allowance: This ultra-low-cost carrier does not offer any free baggage. Passengers will pay $30 for a check bag when booking a flight, $35 before online check-in, $40 during online check-in, $50 at the airport, and $100 at the gate for each bag up to 40 pounds. Travelers can carry one small backpack or purse that fits under a seat. Bags weighing 41-50 pounds will cost $25; 51-70 pounds, $50; and 71-99 pounds, $100. 

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions:  Bicycles cost $75 and surfboards cost $100. Golf clubs, skis and snowboards fall under baggage fees, and overweight charges will apply. Baggage Policy

Baggage Allowance: The Minneapolis-based low-cost carrier charges $25 if bought online and $25 at the airport for the first checked bag. A second bag is $30 online and $35 at the airport and additional bags are $75. Bags weighing 50-99 pounds are an extra $75, while bags more than 62 linear inches are an extra $75.

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: The airline considers sports equipment as part of your allowable checked bags charges $75 for sports equipment; travelers could be charged another $75 if the equipment is oversized. it includes ski, bowling, hockey, fishing, golfing and lacrosse equipment. Items that are not counted as a piece of your checked baggage allowance and require additional fees include bicycles, scuba diving equipment, surfboards, wakeboards, kiteboards, antlers and trailer hitches.

Virgin America
Baggage Allowance: The first three checked bags are $25 each and can weigh up to 70 pounds. Excess baggage fees for extra luggage/oversized luggage/overweight luggage range from $50 to $100.

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: Several sports items may be checked in for free and count toward the free luggage allowance. Heavier and larger equipment, for the most part, may be checked for a cost of $50 per direction. Pets are only allowed in the cabin. Strollers/car seats do not count toward the free luggage allowance. Baggage Policy

Baggage Allowance: Travelers are allowed to carry on one small personal item. Fees for a carry-on bag range from $25 at the time the ticket is booked to $50 for a bag paid for at the gate. The first checked bag is $20 during peak season (January, April, July, August and December) and $15 off-peak. Two checked bags are $70 off-peak and $100 peak. Each additional bag is $100.

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: Fees are different, depending on when you book and what time of year you book, ranging from $65 to $100.

Baggage Allowance: The Calgary, Alberta-based carrier allows each passenger one personal item (small backpack, purse or laptop bag) and one larger carry-on bag. The airline bases its checked baggage fees on the fare travelers purchase. Flex and Plus fares allow one free bag, while Econo fares include a $25.00 to 29.50 fee. Second and third bags range from $35.00 to $100, respectively. 

Sports Items/Other Baggage Restrictions: The airline charges the usual baggage fees for these items. If they are oversized and/or overweight, an extra $75.00 fee will be added.