Should I Check My Bag Or Carry On?

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As airline carriers are faced with higher fuel and labor costs, the cost of carry-on and checked bags continues to rise. At ParkDIA, we understand how frustrating it can be to constantly keep up with these ever-changing fees, which is why we’ve decided to do the leg work for you. Check out our comprehensive guide to airline fees below to learn whether or not you should carry-on or check your bag on your next trip.

 

United Airlines

The United Airlines website says that most travelers can bring one full-sized carry-on bag, plus one personal item free of charge, when they board their flight. If you purchased your ticket as Basic Economy, the airline will only allow you to bring one personal item on the flight (unless you are a Premier® member or a primary card member). Those who are traveling with a Basic Economy ticket and have a full-sized carry-on bag will be required to check their bag and pay the checked baggage fee, in addition to a $25 gate handling charge.

  • Carry-on bag dimensions. The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches. This includes the bag’s handles and wheels.
  • Personal item. The maximum dimensions for a personal item that will sit under the seat in front of you are 9 inches by 10 inches by 17 inches. This often includes shoulder bags, purses, and laptop bags.

Passengers are also permitted to bring the following items on board, in addition to their one bag and one personal item limit:

  • A jacket or umbrella
  • Reading materials such as a book, magazine, or crossword puzzle
  • Any food that has been purchased at the airport
  • A diaper bag or breast pump
  • Any assistive devices like a wheelchair, cane or crutches

According to SeatGuru.com, United Airlines’ standard checked baggage fees are:

  • $30 for your first bag
  • $40 for your second
  • $150 for your third bag or any additional bags

Frontier Airlines

Like so many other low-cost airlines these days, Frontier Airlines has started to charge for everything from assigned seats to carry-on bags. When you fly Frontier, you will only be allowed to bring one personal item on the plane. To help you differentiate between a personal item, carry-on bag, and checked bag, we’ve included the descriptions from Frontier’s website below.

  • Personal Items. Frontier Airlines states that all personal items can be no larger than 14-inches tall, 18-inches wide, and 8-inches long. All personal items must be able to fit in the seat in front of you on the plane. These items might include purses, totes, computer bags, and briefcases.
  • Carry-on Bags. All carry-on bags must be no larger than 24-inches tall, 10-inches wide, and 16-inches long. These measurements include bag wheels, handles, and straps, and they cannot be heavier than 35 pounds. These items of luggage must be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead storage bin on the plane.
  • Checked Baggage. According to their website, Frontier says that all checked bags must be no larger than 62 linear inches and must weight under 50 pounds. If your checked bag happens to exceed these limitations, there will be an additional $75 charge for each bag that is overweight or oversized. Keep in mind that bags over 100 pounds will not be accepted.

Now, let’s take a look at the regular baggage options when flying Frontier below.

  • When you book at Flyfrontier.com, your baggage prices will be as followed:
    • $35 for one carry-on bag
    • $30 for your first checked bag
    • $45 for your second checked bag
    • $80 for your third checked bag
  • When you buy your baggage needs at Flyfrontier.com after booking and up to 24 hours before your flight’s departure:
    • $38 for one carry-on bag
    • $38 for your first checked bag
    • $45 for your second checked bag
    • $80 for your third checked bag
  • When you book your baggage options through Frontier’s call center or web check-in, the baggage prices are as followed:
    • $40 for one carry-on bag
    • $40 for your first checked bag
    • $45 for your second checked bag
    • $85 for your third checked bag
  • When you book your baggage needs at the airport ticket counter or the self-service kiosk, your baggage fees will be:
    • $45 for one carry-on bag
    • $45 for your first checked bag
    • $50 for your second checked bag
    • $80 for your third checked bag
  • Lastly, when you purchase your bag options at your departure gate, the prices will be:
    • $60 for your first carry-on bag
    • $60 for any bags that exceed the airline’s size requirement

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is all about paying for what you use, not what you don’t. If you want to save some money, the airline recommends buying your baggage needs as soon as you book your flight. With the Bare Fare™ option, you can travel with one personal item, such as a laptop bag or purse, that is smaller than 18 inches by 14 inches by 18 inches.

Checked Bags

Spirit Airlines allows travelers to check bags that are maximum of 62-linear inches (this includes length, width and height). All checked bags must not exceed 40 pounds, and any bags that do will be considered oversized or overweight.

For overweight or oversized bags, you will be charged the following prices:

  • $30 for a bag that is between 41 and 50 pounds
  • $55 for a bag that is between 51 and 70 pounds
  • $100 for a bag that is between 71 and 100 pounds

Carry-On Bags

According to their website, Spirit Airlines allows passengers to bring a carry-on bag with them on their flight. A carry-on bag must be a maximum of 22 inches by 18 inches by 10 inches, including handles and wheels. If your carry-on bag is too large to be stowed safely, airline staff may require that your bag be checked.


Delta Airlines

According to the Delta Airlines website, each airline passenger is allowed to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item on board for no additional charge. The airline encourages all flyers to ensure their carry-on bag and personal item can fit under the seat in front of them or in the overhead bin prior to the flight. Additional approved items include: a jacket or umbrella, food or beverages purchased at the airport, or special items like strollers and assistive devices.

Carry-On Bags

All carry-on bags may not exceed 45-linear inches in combined length, width, and height. The only exception to this rule is if you are traveling with a small musical instrument. Carry-on size limited are approximately 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches.

Checked Bags

Depending on where you are traveling to, the checked baggage fees with Delta Airlines may vary.

  • For travel within the United States, including Puerto Rico, you can check your first bag for $30 and your second bag for $40.
  • If you’re traveling from the United States to Canada, your first checked bag will be $30 and your second checked bag will be $50.

American Airlines

American Airlines allows flyers to bring one personal item and one carry-on bag with them free of charge. All personal items must fit under the seat in front of you, and the dimensions of your personal item should not exceed 18 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches. If you’re traveling with a diaper bag, a cooler with breast milk, child safety seats, strollers, or mobility devices, these will not count as your personal item or carry-on. All carry-on bags should not exceed 22 inches by 14 inches by 19 inches, including handles and wheels.

Checked Baggage Charges

  • Domestic: $30 for the first bag, $40 for the second bag, $150 for the third bag, and $200 for the fourth bag.
  • Mexico: $30 for the first bag, $40 for the second bag, $150 for the third bag, and $200 for the fourth bag.

If you plan on checking a bag, make note that the airline does not accept bags over 100 pounds.

  • If you are traveling between the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, or the U.S. Virgin Islands and your bag is larger than 62-inches, you will be charged an additional $200. If you’re traveling to Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central or South America, the same charge applies.
  • If you are traveling to Brazil or Europe and your bag is larger than 62-inches, you will be charged an additional $150.
  • If you are traveling to China, Japan, South Korea, or Hong Kong and your bag is bigger than 62-inches, you will be charged an extra $200.

Southwest Airlines

Many people love flying Southwest Airlines because they know that the airline will accept your first two checked bags free of charge (as long as they do not exceed 50 pounds or 62 linear inches). Oversized or overweight luggage that range from 51 to 100 pounds will be accepted for an additional charge of $75 per item (one-way).

Carry On Bags

Southwest Airlines permits flyers to bring one carry-on item and one personal item with them on the aircraft. The carry-on bag dimensions must fit within 10 inches by 16 inches by 24 inches. If your carry-on bag does not fit within these dimensions, you will be forced to check your bag at the gate.

Personal Item

When flying on Southwest, your personal item (which can include a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag) must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. The dimensions for your personal item must fall at or below 18.5 inches by 8.5 inches by 13.5 inches. If it does not fit comfortably under the seat in front of you, you will be asked to place this item in the overhead bin.


JetBlue

When it comes to baggage options, JetBlue has other airlines beat. When you book your flight with JetBlue, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from an array of fare options like Blue, Blue Plus, or Blue Flex. If your travel plans happen to change after you’ve booked your fare, you can check-in your bags online or at the airport for an additional fee. Keep in mind that all checked bags that exceed 62 inches in overall dimensions or 50 pounds will also be charged a fee.

Bag Fees For Bags Under 50 Pounds
(Tickets booked on or after 8/27/2018)

  • Fare Option – Blue: $30 for first checked bag, $40 for second checked bag, and $150 for any additional bags
  • Fare Option – Blue Plus: First checked bag is included, $40 for second checked bag, and $150 for any additional bags
  • Fare Option – Blue Flex: First and second checked bags are included. Any additional bags will be $150 each.

Bag Fees For Bags Under 50 Pounds
(Tickets booked before 8/27/2018)

  • Fare Option – Blue: $25 for first checked bag, $35 for second checked bag, and $100 for any additional bags
  • Fare Option – Blue Plus: First checked bag is included, $35 for second checked bag, and $100 for any additional bags
  • Fare Option – Blue Flex: First and second checked bags are included. Any additional bags will be $100 each.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air allows all passengers to bring one personal item onboard for no charge. Carry-on and checked baggage fees will vary depending on where you are traveling and when the bag is added to your itinerary.

Personal Item

The personal item you bring onboard should come in the form of a purse, small backpack, or briefcase. It must be 7 inches by 15-inches by 16-inches or less, and your personal item is required to fit under the seat in front of you. If your personal item is assessed at the gate and exceeds the expected dimensions, you will be charged an additional $50 to $75.

Carry-On Bags

You are permitted to bring one carry-on bag with you on your flight, as long as it does not exceed 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches and it fits in the overhead bin. Depending on the size and weight of your carry-on, as well as your final destination, your carry-on bag fee may vary between $10 and $75.

Checked Bags

All passengers can check up to four bags at a time. Each bag must weight 40 pounds or less, and additional charges will apply if your checked bag weighs more.

If you have an overweight bag that weighs between 40 and 70 pounds, you will be charged an additional $50.
If your bag weighs between 71 to 100 pounds, you will be charged an additional $75.

If you’re flying out of the Denver International Airport and you’re looking for convenient and affordable airport parking, reserve your parking space with ParkDIA today. We offer covered, uncovered, and valet parking options at our airport parking facility. Check out our parking rates and options online.