United Airlines Baggage Policy

United Airlines Baggage Policy: Baggage Allowance, Rules & Fees

15 minutes, 35 seconds Read

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Rick Spiegel

Embarking on a trip involves more than just reserving a flight ticket. Also, it becomes really essential to understand the baggage policy of the airline for a seamless travel experience. So, if you are flying with United Airlines for the very first time, then you are at the right place. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll get a deep knowledge about United Airlines Baggage Policy.

So, if you don’t want to miss out on any point, then make sure to read the guide till the end. Here, you’ll get all the details from the checked baggage policy to fees for the additional baggage.

Now, let’s quickly move further with the basics first.

Table of Contents

What is United Airlines Baggage Policy?

If you are a first-time traveler on United Airlines, then you must know all the below points regarding the baggage allowance:

  • United Airlines has a very straightforward baggage policy. According to the United Airlines baggage policy, the airline permits its passengers to bring one carry-on baggage bag and one personal item for free.
  • Not only this, but the airline also allows business and first class travelers to bring 2 checked baggage for free.
  • However, if you have extra baggage, then you can check it in by paying an excess baggage fee.

Key Highlights of United Checked Baggage Policy

Passengers traveling with United Airlines get a generous checked baggage allowance. United Airlines checked baggage policy varies as per the cabin class and frequent flyer status.

  • The United Airlines permits all the Economy/Premium Economy flyers to bring 2 checked baggage with a maximum weight limit of 23kg each.
  • On the other hand, all Business and First class travelers are permitted to bring 2 checked baggage with a maximum weight of 32kg each.
  • Moreover, as per the policy the size of the checked baggage on United Airlines should not exceed by 76 cm x 52 cm x 30 cm.
  • Also, as per the United Baggage rule, travelers with checked baggage should check in at least 45 minutes before departure on domestic flights.
  • On the other hand, on international flights, travelers must check-in at least 60 minutes before departure with their checked baggage.

United Airlines Checked Baggage Allowance for MileagePlus Premier Members

As per the United Airlines checked baggage policy, all the MileagePlus members can check their bags for free. However, the baggage allowance depends on the premier status and routes. Below is a snapshot of checked baggage allowance for MileagePlus Premier members:

Cabin and RoutePremier 1KPremier PlatinumPremier GoldPremier Silver
Economy Class For flights US to/from Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, and Central America3 bags, 32 kg each3 bags, 32 kg each2 bags, 32 kg each1 bag, 32 kg
Economy Class For flights from the US to/from New Zealand, South America, the East, Africa, Europe, and Australia3 bags, 32 kg each3 bags, 32 kg each3 bags, 32 kg each2 bags, 32 kg each
All premium cabin travel3 bags, 32 kg each3 bags, 32 kg each3 bags, 32 kg each3 bags, 32 kg each

Checked Baggage Allowance for Military Members

United Airlines offers a special baggage quota to all active-duty military personnel. Below are all the important points that you must know about the checked baggage policy of United Airlines as a Military member:

  • If you are a Military member who is traveling on official orders, then United Airlines will provide you the facility to carry 5 checked baggage for free.
  • However, the size of each piece of baggage on United Airlines must not exceed 100 inches, and the weight limit must remain at 32kg.
  • Moreover, if you are traveling for your personal work, then you only get the facility to check three pieces of baggage for free.
  • Furthermore, if you are traveling with your family members on the same reservation, then they are also entitled to the same baggage allowance as yours.

What is United Airlines Carry-on Baggage Policy?

United Airlines permits passengers to bring carry-on bags. However, the carry-on baggage policy of United Airlines changes according to the ticket purchased by the flyers. Here are all the important points that you must know about United Airlines baggage policy:

  • All the fares except Basic Economy tickets permit one carry-on bag and one personal item. Personal items includes – Purses, laptop bags, and backpacks.
  • The size of the carry-on bag on United Airlines must not exceed by 22 x 14 x 9 inches, including the handle and wheels.
  • Plus, the size of the personal item should not be more than 9 in x 10 in x 17 inches.
  • However, flyers with Basic Economy tickets can bring only one personal item.
  • But, the Basic Economy passengers can bring a carry-on bag on flights to South America, transatlantic, and transpacific destinations.
  • Furthermore, all the Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, strollers, child restraint seats, etc., are not counted in the carry-on luggage of United Airlines of passengers.  

United Airlines Carry-on Policy for Lap Infant 

  • If you are flying with your infant who has a ticket, then you can check bags baggage in their name.
  • According to the United Airlines carry-on baggage policy, these bags must be packed as per the standard bag rule. Plus, overweight or oveersized baggage of the infants will be checked in under the traveling adult’s name.
  • In addition, If you are traveling with your child on United Airlines, then you are permitted to bring the following articles on board including:
  • 1 Diaper bag
  • Breast pump
  • Government-approved child seat 

United Airlines Overweight and Oversized Baggage Allowances

Overweight & Oversize baggage allowances

Due to limited space, United Airlines applies limitations on the maximum size and weight of baggage. Here are some of the crucial points that you must know about the Overweight and Oversized baggage:

  • According to the United Airlines Baggage Policy, if the size of the baggage is more than 62 inches, then it is considered as oversized baggage. However, passengers can check-in their baggage by paying the oversized baggage fees. 
  • Similarly, the airline considers a baggage as an overweight baggage if its size is more than 32kg. United Airlines accepts checked baggage with a maximum weight of 45kg.
  • However, the airline permits you to bring all the assistive devices and musical instruments with a maximum weight of 75kg.

Sports Equipment Baggage Policy of United Airlines

United Airlines permits certain sports equipment to be brought on flights. Here is a list of all such items that you can bring on flight:

  • Biking- United Airlines does not allow to check motorized and battery-powered bike. United Airlines does not levy oversized baggage fees. Travelers must pack their bikes properly.
  • Archery-  Travelers can pack one bow case containing bows, a quiver with arrows, along with one maintenance kit.
  • Surfboards, Wakeboards, and Paddleboards-  Flyers can fly with surfboards, wakeboards, and paddleboards only if they are packed in a bag and must be less than 115 inches in size and less than 45 kg in weight.
  • Windsurfing- United Airlines permits one windsurfing set. The set includes one windsurfing board, boom, mast, and sail.
  • Fishing Equipment-  One fishing equipment consisting of two rods, one landing net, one reel, one pair of fishing boots, and one tackle box is allowed by United Airlines.
  • Tennis- Flyers can also bring one tennis bag with a tennis racket and balls. Travelers can bring it as checked or carry-on baggage. It should be within size and weight limits.

Note – Travelers can visit the official website of United Airlines and find out the rules for other sports equipment.

Rules of United Airlines for Musical Instruments

If you are going to a concert along with your musical instruments on United Airlines, then here are some of the important that you must keep in mind:

  • As per the United Airlines baggage policy for musical instruments, you can buy a seat for your musical instruments.
  • However, it is essential to keep the weight and size of your musical instruments as per the carry-on baggage policy. If the musical instrument is not meeting the rules set by the airline, then you might be able to bring your instruments inside the cabin.
  • As per the policy of United Airlines for instruments, it must not be more than 115cm.

United Airlines Baggage Policy for Damaged/Lost Baggage

There can be instances of lost, damaged, or delayed baggage. In such a case, United Airlines offers an easy procedure for making baggage tracking requests and compensation claims. Here are all the crucial points that you must know about the baggage policy of United Airlines for Damaged, Lost or Delayed baggage:

  • According to the United Airlines baggage policy, the airline is responsible for providing a compensation of around $3,800 for delayed, damaged, or lost baggage. This rule is applicable for travel within or between the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Moreover, for all international travel, the airline will provide $1288 as per the Montreal Convention.
  • Additionally, if your baggage does not arrive with you at the airport, then you can file a delayed baggage request.
  • Also, if you are outside the US, you have 21 days to make a delayed baggage request.
  • On the other hand, if you are in the US, Guam, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands, then you must report within 24 hours of arrival.
  • Furthermore, if United Airlines does not locate your bag in 5 days, then you can file a lost baggage claim.
  • According to United Airlines Baggage Policy, it does not compensate for the damaged bag for the following reasons:
  • Ordinary wear and tear.
  • Also, for overpacking of the bag.
  • Poor quality of the bag.
  • Additionally, for bags with existing defects.
  • A staff member will personally check the bag for reimbursement approval.

Does United Airlines Charge Baggage Fee from Elite Status Members?

United Airlines Baggage Fee

On United Airlines, the fees for the additional or excess baggage is calculated with the help of different factors such as:

  • Ticket Type purchased by a passenger
  • Destination selected by the flyer.
  • If the flyer is a member of the US military personnel.
  • If they have the facility to avail the United Airlines frequent flyer program status with an affiliated carrier.
  • Or if they have a United Airlines-sponsored credit/charge card.

Here is a quick snapshot of United Airlines baggage fee from the Elite status member:

Types of Members & CardholdersFirst bagSecond bag
General Member$35$45
Premier Silver Elite MemberFree$45
Premier Gold Elite MemberFreeFree
Premier Platinum Elite MemberFreeFree
Premier 1K Elite MemberFreeFree
MileagePlus Club CardholdersFreeFree
MileagePlus Explorer CardholdersFree$45

What is the United Airlines Fee for Overweight and Oversized Baggage?

According to the United Airlines baggage policy, the airline charges certain fees for overweight and oversized baggage. The fee for overweight and oversized baggage on United Airlines  are as follows:

  • Fees for Overweight Baggage: On United Airlines, the fee for overweight baggage with a weight of 51 to 70 pounds starts at $ $100 per bag. However, if the weight of the luggage is between 70 to 100 pounds, then the airline will charge  $200 per bag.
  • Fees for Oversize Baggage: The airline charges around $200 as an oversized baggage fee for baggage which are more than 63 to 80 inches, including wheels and handles

Tips to Avoid Paying Extra Baggage Fee at United Airlines

If you want to travel across the world to different destinations with extra luggage for your trip without paying an extra charge for the baggage fee, then you can follow the given tips to avoid extra baggage fees.

  • To avoid the baggage fees on United Airlines, you can go for the premium tickets or reserve your ticket in premium, first, or business travel class. This will help you in getting more luggage space and also permission to carry hand luggage with you.
  • Also, you can check the price of the Basic and standard Economy to compare the baggage fees. If the standard economy ticket allows you to carry more luggage without an extra cost, go for those tickets.
  • In addition, if you are a United Airlines privilege club member, you are entitled to carry luggage up to 55 pounds for free. You’ll also get permission to carry hand luggage and personal items during check-in and boarding the flight.
  • Moreover, United Airlines has several credit cards that carry baggage fee waiver benefit. So, if you are traveling with United Airlines, then you can use the Explorer Card and United Business Card as it provides the primary cardholder and one traveling companion a free checked bagage facility on all the flights operated by the United Airlines.
  • Furthermore, the United Club Business Card, United Club Infinite Card, and United Quest Card double the benefits. These cards permit the primary cardholder and traveling companion to check their first and second baggage for free.

How to Get a Compensation from United Airlines for Baggage Loss?

If your baggage is lost or damaged while traveling with United Airlines, then you are entitled to get compensation from the airline. To get the reimbursement, you need to follow the given steps:

  • Firstly, you need to get the reference number of your file. If you are at the airport, you can share this issue with the baggage service office of United Airlines.
  • However, if you have left the airport, then you can get in touch with the United Airlines Baggage Recovery Center via phone call. To get connected with the baggage recovery department, dial 1-800-335-2247.
  • After that, file a lost/damaged baggage claim. You must file the claim within 45 days. In the baggage claim form you need to enter several details, including- details of the baggage, any damages, description of the item in the bag.
  • Once the file is submitted, the baggage department of United Airlines will verify the whole case.
  • Lastly, United Airlines will provide compensation after the inspection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many bags does United Airlines allow for free?

According to the United Airlines permit flyers to bring one carry-on baggage and one personal item for free on all the international and domestic flights.However, travelers can bring additional baggage by paying the additional baggage fees.

What weight can baggage be carried on United Airlines for free?

United Airlines baggage policy permits you to carry luggage weighing up to 50 pounds for free on Economy fares. Moreover, for the Business and First Class, travelers can carry baggage weighing up to 70 pounds. 

What is the 2pc baggage allowance on United Airlines?

United Airlines provides 2 piece baggage allowance to passengers traveling in Economy and Premium Economy cabin class. The rule applies to all domestic routes and selected international routes.

How many can you bring in United Airlines as a carry-on?

If you are flying with United Airlines, then you can bring one personal item and one carry-on bag. The size of the personal item should be 9 x 10 x 17 inches. On the other hand, the size of the carry-on bag must not exceed 9 x 14 x 22 inches.

How much is the United Airlines International Baggage fee?

Travelers get a complimentary baggage allowance on United Airlines. However, if a passenger wants to carry additional baggage, then they have to pay a fee. United Airlines Baggage fees for international flights start from $150 and vary according to the routes.

Is United Airlines strict on baggage weight?

United Airlines does not apply weight limitations on carry-on bags. As long as passengers are bringing carry-on items under the size limitations, they are acceptable. However, United Airlines is strict about checked baggage weight. Business and First class can bring 32 kg of bag whereas Economy and Premium Economy can bring 23 kg of bag. If the weight exceeds the criteria, passengers have to pay an overweight baggage fee.

Can passengers prepay for their luggage on United Airlines?

When passengers travel with United Airlines, they get the facility to prepay for their luggage. They can even receive an additional discount of 20% compared to the same facility at the airport. To prepay for the extra luggage online, the passengers can visit the official website of United Airlines, log in to their account, click on manage booking, edit the number of bags, and pay the fee as per charge.

How to get free bags on United Airlines?

Travelers can get a free baggage allowance on United Airlines through the following ways:

  • If they have tier status in the MileagePlus program.
  • Fly a premium class.
  • Active military members or dependent of the personnel traveling in the same booking.
  • Also, get a United Airlines credit card.

Does United allow a backpack and carry-on?

Yes, United Airlines allows a backpack and a carry-on for all travelers. However, you must ensure to bring all your baggage as per the set dimensions and weight limit by United Airlines. 

Do you get a free checked bag with United Economy class?

As per the United Airlines baggage policy for Economy class, Non-Elites, Star Alliance Gold Elites or flyers who reserved their ticket with a United Credit card are permitted to bring a checked baggage for free. So, if they fall into this category, then their baggage allowance is 50 pounds.

Do you get two free checked bags with United?

Yes, you get the facility to bring 2 checked baggage with United Airlines. However, as per the baggage policy of United Airlines, this facility is only for business class and first-class travelers.

What can you not bring as a carry-on United Airlines?

As per the United Airlines carry-on baggage allowance, there are several items that are prohibited by the airline to bring as carry-ons. These items include:

  • Insecticides
  • Gel fuel
  • Drain cleaners.
  • Bleach
  • Pesticides

Can you take medicine on United Airlines?

Yes, according to the baggage policy of United Airlines,  you can bring medicines on your flight. However, its is necessary to bring your prescription with you at the airport. Moreover, you  can bring syringes during your flight. You can ask the flight attendants to help you dispose them properly.

Is a backpack considered a personal item on a United flight?

Yes, backpacks are considered personal items on United Airlines flights. Not only backpacks but all purses and backpacks are also considered personal items. United Airlines permits you to bring your personal items as long as they are fitted under the seat in front of you.

How much does United charge for checked bags?

United Airlines allows flyers to bring two checked bags for free. However, if the passenger wants to bring additional baggage, they need to pay the airline additional baggage fees. The fees for the extra baggage range between $40 and $50. 

How do I avoid checked bag fees on United?

You can eliminate the checked baggage fees on United Airlines in several methods. To avoid baggage fees, you must:

  • Pay for a Premium Ticket
  • Utilize Airline Incidental Credits
  • Earn MileagePlus Premier Status
  • Be an Active Service Member

What is the United Airlines baggage policy for international routes?

According to the United Airlines Baggage Policy for International flights, passengers can bring their baggage with a maximum weight of 50 pounds, and its dimensions must remain  62 inches.


Rick Spiegel

I'm Rick Spiegel, a dedicated traveler and writer with a passion for all things related to airline travel. My love for exploring new destinations and my commitment to helping fellow travelers navigate the skies have led me to create a space where you can find all the information you need to contact airlines and resolve air travel issues seamlessly. With years of experience in the aviation industry, I've made it my mission to provide you with expertly crafted airline travel guides, ensuring that your journeys are as smooth as possible.

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