Checked baggage

How much are my checked baggage service charges?

 

 


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We revised some of our checked baggage policies on August 11, 2016. For the latest checked baggage updates, please review all relevant baggage pages before you travel.

Looking for Carry-on Baggage instead of checked baggage?

Make sure to check your bag in time

Go to the Check-in and Airport Processing Times page to see the cut-off time for checking baggage at your departure airport. Please keep in mind that we can’t check your baggage if you do not meet these specified times.

Keep your claim check

You will receive a claim check (a type of receipt) for each checked bag. Please keep these claim checks until you collect all of your checked baggage at the end of your travel.

Review the baggage process for any connecting flights

United checks bags between the origin and destination stated on the ticket. See Connecting Flights information below.

Calculate your baggage service charges

Service charges apply whenever bags are checked, and are determined by the marketing carrier of your itinerary’s first segment (the airline whose flight number is printed on your boarding pass for that flight). If you make a voluntary change to your itinerary and your new flight has a different marketing carrier, the baggage policies of the new marketing carrier will apply. If this carrier is not United or United Express®, the service charges may be different.

Baggage calculator

Sign in to your MileagePlus account to determine checked baggage service charges for an existing reservation, or select the “Any flights” tab to calculate the service charges for any United itinerary.

Baggage dimensions and weights

The maximum exterior dimension (length + width + height) of standard checked baggage is 62 inches (158 cm), including handles and wheels. The maximum weight for checked baggage is based on the class of service and on the traveler's MileagePlus Premier® status at the time of check-in. If you qualify for different allowances based on your class of service and your MileagePlus status, the larger of the two allowances will apply.

Base on class of service
Class of service Maximum weight per bag
United Economy® 50 lbs.
(23 kg)
  • United Business®
  • United BusinessFirst®
  • United First®
  • United Global FirstSM
  • United PolarisSM global first
  • United Polaris business class
70 lbs.
(32 kg)
Base on MileagePlus status
MileagePlus status Maximum weight per bag
Premier Silver 50 lbs.
(23 kg)
  • Premier Gold
  • Premier Platinum
  • Premier 1K®
  • United Global Services®
  • Star Alliance™ Gold
    (traveling in First, Business or BusinessFirst)
70 lbs.
(32 kg)

Other service charges will apply to additional checked bags or any bags that exceed these weights and dimensions. See Oversized, Overweight and Extra Baggage information below.

Checked baggage service charge exceptions

Some customers are exempt from paying select service charges for checked bags on United- and United Express®-operated flights when bags are checked through United. If you are eligible for different types of exemptions, the larger allowance will apply.​

Active U.S. military personnel and their dependents

Dependents of active U.S. military personnel will have the same exemptions as the military service member whose status provides the benefit, as long as they are traveling on the same reservation. When travel is due to official orders, dependents may travel unaccompanied.

Checked baggage service charge exceptions for active U.S. military personnel and their dependents
Type of trip Class of service Number of bags without service charges Maximum size
(length + width + height)
Maximum weight per bag
Personal travel All classes of service 3 bags 62 in. (158 cm) 70 lbs. (32 kg)
Official business
United Economy®
Premium cabins
4 bags
5 bags
115 in. (292 cm)
115 in. (292 cm)
70 lbs. (32 kg)
70 lbs. (32 kg)

MileagePlus Premier® members

Travel companions of MileagePlus Premier members will have the same exemptions as the Premier member whose status provides the benefit, as long as they are traveling on the same reservation. Exemptions do not apply to group reservations of 10 or more customers.

For travelers on award tickets issued or re-issued on or after April 15, 2015: Checked baggage service charge waivers will be based on the traveler's MileagePlus status level, rather than the status of the member whose miles were used to purchase the award ticket.

Checked baggage service charge exceptions for MileagePlus Premier® members
MileagePlus Premier status Number of bags without service charges Maximum size
(length + width + height)
Maximum weight per bag
Premier Silver 1 bag 62 in. (158 cm) 50 lbs. (23 kg)
Premier Gold 2 bags* 62 in. (158 cm) 70 lbs. (32 kg)
Premier Platinum 3 bags 62 in. (158 cm) 70 lbs. (32 kg)
Premier 1K® 3 bags 62 in. (158 cm) 70 lbs. (32 kg)

*For all United Economy tickets, Premier Gold members are eligible for two complimentary checked bags at 70 pounds (32 kg) each for travel between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For travel to and from select international markets, Premier Gold members are eligible for three complimentary checked bags at 70 pounds (32 kg) each.

Oversized, overweight and extra baggage

Additional service charges apply to any checked baggage that exceeds the size and/or weight limitations and baggage beyond your allowance. Any applicable service charges for oversized, overweight and extra baggage will be added together. For example, if a single bag is oversized, overweight and above the allowance, it will be subject to all three service charges.

Please note that extra baggage is accepted only if space is available on the aircraft. Oversized, overweight and extra baggage is not accepted on flights to certain destinations and on certain flights during specific timeframes. For a list of cities where overweight or extra baggage is not accepted, either year-round or during certain times, please see the Excess Baggage Embargo page.

Oversized baggage

Baggage with total outer dimensions (length + width + height) measuring more than 115 inches (292 cm) will not be accepted as checked baggage.

Overweight baggage

With the exception of assistive devices and musical instruments, baggage weighing more than 100 lbs. (45 kg) will not be accepted. Musical instruments up to 165 lbs. (75 kg) will be accepted.

Extra baggage

Assistive devices are accepted at no charge.

For travel between the U.S. and Brazil, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, no more than three extra checked bags are accepted.

Connecting flights

For a trip that includes one or more connections, United will check bags to the final destination stated on the ticket. United will transfer bags to a connecting flight on your United itinerary, or on a separate itinerary that includes a Star AllianceTM partner airline flight, if the connecting flight is scheduled to depart within 13 hours after arriving at the connection city.

You'll need to claim and re-check baggage if you are:

  • Making a voluntary stopover
  • Making a connection that involves an overnight stay
  • Connecting to an itinerary booked on a separate ticket that doesn't include a Star Alliance partner airline
  • Traveling internationally and connecting to a domestic flight within your destination country

Tips and additional information

For a smooth start to your air travel, please keep the following in mind if you’re planning to check bags.

MileagePlus rules: The accrual of miles and Premier® qualifying credits, redemption of awards and provision of benefits through the United MileagePlus program, including the Premier Program, are subject to change and are subject to the rules of the MileagePlus program.

See the complete rules and details of the MileagePlus program