8 Tips To Avoid Baggage Fees Next Time You Fly

Fly With Southwest

Southwest is the only major U.S. airline that offers two free checked baggage per customer. Southwest's major drawback is that you can't reserve a seat. 

Get airline elite status

Regular airline flyers get status at specific milestones, and all entry levels provide free checked baggage, albeit the number and weight vary.

Airlines provide credit cards

Airlines typically provide cardholders free baggage and larger weight limitations. My United Club credit card gives me and my travel partner two free checked baggage up to 70 pounds each time we fly.

Travel credit card

If you fly wherever is most convenient or affordable, consider a general travel credit card with travel credits.

Booking a premium cabin

Premium cabin tickets cost more than checked bag costs, but they include a bigger seat, in-flight food, and priority check-in and boarding.

Bag check at the gate

When flights are packed, gate officials typically offer passengers in the boarding area to check their baggage to their ultimate destination for free to free up overhead bin space.

Pay United's baggage subscription

United provides a $349-per-year luggage subscription. With that basic package, United subscribers may check one regular (not large or overweight) bag for free on continental U.S. flights.

Weigh your stuff at home before traveling

Double-check the airline's bag policy and buy a portable baggage scale before leaving for the airport to avoid unexpected fines!

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