Would You Pay $450 To Check Your Baggage?

Would You Pay $450 To Check Your Baggage? September 21, 2011

What would you guess the cost to be for checking a bag at an airport?  Twenty five dollars?  Fifty dollars?  Four hundred fifty dollars?

The answer?  All the above.  Depending on the airline and destination, you may pay as little as $0 and upwards of $450 for one checked bag.

As you’ll see below, most airline carriers charge $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second checked bag.  Anomalies like Southwest Airlines stand out with their ‘bags fly free’ offer that help it to stand out from the competition.

I probably travel by air once a month and usually fly American because of the rewards.  When I fly, I usually don’t even check a bag because my carry on bags fit in the overhead as well as under the seat in front of me.  That’s saved me hundreds of dollars and I’d recommend buying a suitcase that fits the dimensions for overhead storage if you plan on traveling more than once a year.

One thing that I’ve noticed from flying so often is that when a flight is full, they will almost always give you the chance to check your bag at no cost in order to save room in the overhead compartments.  If you have one of those borderline suitcases that have a little difficulty fitting in the overhead compartments, this is a great way to go as a way to save a few dollars.  Just listen for the desk to ask for passengers willing to check their bag for free and you won’t have to worry about finding room on the plane for your bag.  Just remember that you’ll have to go to baggage claim to get your luggage.

If you’re going to be traveling soon, take a look at the top five airlines below to see what they normally charge for bags.  Be sure to explore their full rules on baggage because they often have different fees for international flights.

Typical Checked Baggage Fees  (U.S. and Canada)


1st Bag: $25

2nd Bag: $35

United Airlines

1st Bag: $25

2nd Bag: $35


1st Bag: Free

2nd Bag: Free

American Airlines

1st Bag: $25

2nd Bag: $35

(Flights in Asia – bags over 70lbs: $450)

US Airways

1st Bag: $25

2nd Bag: $35

(To/From Europe – 1st Bag: Free)

Have you flown lately?  Did you get charged to check your bags?  How much would you pay to check your luggage?

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