BaggageBee » Blog » United Airlines Baggage Allowance 2024 Worry-free Packing

United Airlines Baggage Allowance 2024 Worry-free Packing

Published on December 6, 2023

United Airlines Baggage Allowance is designed in accordance with passengers traveling needs. The policy is designed based on the class of service, specific fares, and the selected destination. Basic Economy passengers can only bring one personal item on board, while premium cabins have additional allowances. Checked baggage fees are common for basic economy travelers. Whereas, higher fare classes or passengers with elite status often get complimentary checked baggage. For international flights, the allowance may differ. It is advisable to stay informed about United Airlines’ baggage policy for a smoother travel experience. 

United Airlines Baggage Policy and Regulations

1 personal item and carry-on for free

United Airlines baggage allowance includes 1 personal item and carry-on for free on regular Economy class. Checked baggage is accepted for a fee. Items other than this are also allowed but under special conditions. On this page, you can learn guidelines in accordance with united baggage policy. Moreover, every passenger should follow United Airlines baggage regulations; otherwise, the bag will not be accepted. Passengers bringing in bags bigger in size or weighing over the limits lead to additional charges. 

If you are flying with an infant under two years of age, the same baggage restrictions will apply as the adult passenger. However, if any passenger exceeds the infant baggage allowance, it is counted as the adult passenger allowance. 

Tips for Traveling with United Air

Here are some tips for passengers to travel like a pro with United Air. If you keep these things in mind, you can travel without any confusion and hassle. It is very unusual to lose your bag. However, these few tips help reduce the chances:

  • Make sure to remove tags from the last trip. 
  • If you are traveling with checked baggage, reach the airport earlier than the standard check-in time. Scroll down to see different times according to specific airports. 
  • Keep the baggage receipt safe. It is recommended to take a picture of it along with your bags for future reference. 
  • You will have to affix a baggage tag to your luggage. Put it inside the front pocket with contact information along with the destination written on it. In case the bag is lost, these details will help the finder get it to you. 
  • Passengers can use the bag tracker or AirTag to keep an eye on their baggage. 
  • Lastly, place valuable items or things that should be easily accessible, like keys and wallets, in carry-on bags.

Carry on Rules for United Airlines

united airlines carry on size

United carry on policy states that passengers can bring one bag for free on almost every domestic and international flight. The size of the carry-on should be 9 in x 14 in x 22 in or 23 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm. These measurements also include handles and wheels. Therefore, ensure your hand luggage is under the United carry-on size limit before the day of travel. In addition to the cabin bag, a passenger is also permitted to bring one personal item for free. You can take it only if the United Personal Item Size is 9 in x 10 in x 17 in (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm). Such should fit the space under the seat in front of you. On the other hand, you can stow your carry-on bags in the overhead bin. 

Any bags, either personal or carry-on, over the size limits are treated as checked luggage, and a standard fee will apply as per the United Airlines Baggage Allowance. The aircraft has limited space for cabin bags, and thus, it is necessary for them to fit perfectly. Bags under the seat should not slide back into the aisle or disrupt the movement of other passengers. You should be able to close the overhead compartment without needing extra force after placing the carry-on bag. If you are unsure about the baggage size, use the baggage sizer at the airport to clear the confusion.

Other Items Permitted on United Flights for FREE

Passengers can bring the following items inside the cabin for free in addition to carry-on and personal items. 

  • Umbrella
  • Food 
  • Camera
  • Coats and Jackets
  • Books or Magazines
  • Duty-free and other things purchased at the airport.
  • Passengers with children can bring a diaper bag and breast pump.
  • Devices used for mobility, such as wheelchairs, canes, and crutches.
  • Passengers with an infant can bring a car seat, child safety harness, or stroller. 

Hand Luggage Conditions on United Airlines Economy Class

Passengers flying in United Airlines’ Economy class are not permitted to bring carry-on bags. They can take one personal item on most of the flights. You can carry a cabin bag in Economy class only when flying to South America, across the Atlantic, or across the Pacific. All the remaining types of items or luggage are treated as checked baggage. Please note that if the carry-on is checked at the departure gate, the standard bag fee plus an additional amount of 25 USD will apply.

You can take one cabin bag for free only if you have a MileagePlus membership with Premier status or you are a Premier member. This is also applicable to passengers who have primary cards or are Star Alliance gold members. 

Packing Special Items

Some things are referred to as ‘special items’ under United Airlines Baggage Allowance. The airline has designed extra rules for their handling and packaging.

  • Smart bags – If operated on lithium or general batteries, remove them before packing.
  • Liquid, gels, and sprays – TSA permits only 100 mL containers of liquid-based items inside the carry-on. It must be packed securely inside a plastic sealable bag, ensuring no leakage. 
  • Powders – TSA permits packing powder-based substances in checked baggage, but passengers can pack 12 ounces (350 mL) in their carry-ons. 
  • Musical instruments – Passengers can bring one small instrument inside the flight cabin. It is counted as a carry-on or a personal item, depending on where you store it. 
  • Medication, vapes, and essentials – Passengers can place their medicines, vapes, e-cigarettes, and other valuable items inside the personal item when the bag is going through gate checking. You can also use medical syringes during flights, but inform the flight attendant for safe disposal. 
  • Fragile, bulky, or unusual – Passengers can buy an additional seat for items that require handling with care and you don’t wish to check it.

Extra Seat for Bags

If a passenger does not wish to check their special items, they have the option to book an extra seat. With this United Airlines baggage policy, you can travel with your valuable item on board. 

Usually, people purchase extra seats for items like musical instruments, wedding dresses, cameras, and garment bags. Passengers are responsible for informing the United agent before boarding to get the approval. These are some of the rules for special items traveling in separate seats:

  • The item should weigh equal to or less than 75kh or 165 lbs.
  • It should be packed or covered to prevent damage and avoid injuries to other customers.
  • The item should be kept right next to the seat of passengers, secured with a seat belt for the duration of the flight. 
  • You cannot book an extra seat for dangerous goods.
  • The item should not disrupt the movement of other passengers or block the aisle.

Note: Passengers must contact the concerned authority to reserve a seat by dialing 1-800-864-8331. The price of the seat may get higher at this point. 

United Airlines Gate-checked Bags

There are times when a plane is too small to fit a carry-on or the overhead bin gets full quickly. In such scenarios, the airline will gate-check your bags for free, and you can collect them right after you disembark the plane. This is different from the regular check-in; the bags are collected at the gate to be stored in the aircraft’s cargo. This situation often arises on United Express flights. Passengers are allowed to carry one cabin bag, but the planes are small and run out of space quickly. However, if the carry-on bag is over the permitted size limit, then it should be checked at the gate. Afterwards, you can collect it at the baggage claim after reaching the final destination. 

United Airlines Checked Baggage Allowance

United Checked Baggage

United Airlines checked baggage size, which must be under 30 in x 20 in x 12 in (76 cm x 52 cm x 30 cm). This also includes handles and wheels. At the same time, the weight limit is different for every fare; it ranges between 23kg and 32kg. Passengers must check the permitted baggage weight while booking the ticket. United checked bag weight limit depends on the passenger’s cabin and MileagePlus status. If both have different limits, the airline will consider the one with the larger limit.

United Airlines Checked Baggage Weight by Cabin
CabinMaximum weight per bag
United Economy
Premium Economy
23 kilograms or 50 pounds
United Business
United First
United Polaris business class
32 Kilograms or 70 pounds
United Airlines Checked Baggage Weight by MileagePlus Status
MileagePlus statusMaximum weight per bag
Premier Silver
Premier Gold
Premier Platinum
Premier 1K
32 Kilograms or 70 pounds
Star Alliance  GoldBusiness Class – 32 Kilograms or 70 poundsEconomy Class – 23 Kilograms or 50 pounds

Check-in Time for United Airlines Checked Bags

Passengers with checked baggage must reach the airport on time to complete the necessary formalities. If you don’t, the authorities will not check in your luggage. United Airlines has set different check-in time limits for passengers with and without checked bags. If you do not follow the time limits, the staff has the right to deny service.

Generally, passengers with checked bags are instructed to reach the airport earlier than the standard check-in time. Passengers with checked bags must be present at the airport 45 minutes before domestic flight departure. For international flights, 60 minutes before scheduled departure. The timings may vary according to different locations and airports; check below:

United States AirportsCheck-in Time Limits
Baltimore (BWI)with or w/o checked baggage: 45 minInternational routes: 60 min
Honolulu (HNL)With checked bags: 30 minWithout checked bags: 45 minInternational routes: 75 min
Kahului, Maui (OGG)with or w/o checked baggage: 45 minInternational routes: 60 min
Mammoth Lakes (MMH)with or w/o checked baggage: 30 minInternational routes: 60 min
Salt Lake City (SLC)with or w/o checked baggage: 45 minInternational routes: 60 min
San Juan, PR (JU)with or w/o checked baggage: 45 minInternational routes: 60 min
Flights to/from Micronesia and the Marshall Islandswith or w/o checked baggage: 90 minInternational routes: 90 min
Other AirportsCheck-in Time Limits
Aguadilla (BQN)45 min
Lima (LIM)75 min
Amsterdam (AMS)
Athens (ATH)
Berlin (BER)
Brussels (BRU)
Dublin (DUB)
Frankfurt (FRA)
Milan (MXP)
Paris (CDG)
Rome (FCO)
Dubai (DXB)
Delhi (DEL)
Guam (GUM)*60 min
Tel Aviv (TLV)90 min
Chuuk (TKK)
Guam (GUM) to Honolulu (HNL)
Kosrae (KSA)
Manila (MNL)
Palau (ROR)
Pohnpei (PNI)
Saipan (SPN)
Yap (YAP)
Accra (ACC)
Lagos (LOS)
St. Thomas (STT)
Toronto (YYZ)

United Baggage Fees

United Baggage Fees

If flying on a domestic flight with United Airlines, the baggage fee can vary from 30 USD to 45 USD. For international flights, the baggage fee can be expensive. Passengers on United or United Express flights (with the U.S.) can pay the baggage fee with their miles. The amount is subject to change depending on the selected destination, chosen travel class, and date of departure. In most cases, the airline does not charge baggage fees for Premium Economy, Business, or First travel classes. Passengers can check their first bag for free when flying within the continental U.S. or to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America. First and second bags are free for flights booked between the United States and South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Passengers can head to the official website and confirm how much they will have to pay as United baggage fee. This is possible with the help of the baggage fee calculator feature available on the airline’s webpage. To use it, select the “My Flights” option and log into the MileagePlus account. You can also click on the “Any flights” option to check the details of your trip. Just enter the travel details and confirm the United Airlines Checked Baggage Fee. You may also check the fee details by providing your flight confirmation number. 

For instance, the United Airlines baggage fee for a flight from Los Angeles LAX to New York NYC will be

Travel ClassFirst BagSecond Bag
EconomyStandard: $35
Prepaid: $30
Standard: $45 Prepaid: $40
Premium EconomyNo FeeNo Fee
Business of First ClassNo FeeNo Fee

Free Checked Baggage for Specific Passengers

There are exceptions to checked baggage fees, some passengers are exempted from paying. This is applicable to passengers on flights operated by only United or United Express. In a situation where you are eligible for multiple exemptions, the larger one is considered. Examples of such passengers would be active military personnel and their families/dependents. However, if the dependent is traveling alone without military order proofs, standard fees are levied. Check who is exempted from United Airlines Baggage Fee. 

  1. Military Personnel and Dependents.
Purpose of TripTravel ClassesNo. of bags w/o baggage feePermitted sizeMax. weight per bag
Personal travelAll types of serviceThree bags62 in. (158 cm)70 lbs. (32 kg)
Military dependent with travel ordersAll types of serviceTwo bags62 in. (158 cm)70 lbs. (32 kg)
Military ordersAll types of serviceFive bags115 in. (292 cm)100 lbs. (45 kg)
  1. MileagePlus Premier Members

Passengers with a MileagePlus Premier membership can check baggage for free. It is also applicable for up to nine passengers in the same booking. 

Travel Class & RoutePremier SilverPremier GoldPremier PlatinumPremier oneK
Economy flights between the U.S. and:
Continental U.S.

Central America
one bag,
70 lbs. (32 kg)
two bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
three bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
three bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
Economy flights between the U.S. and:

South America,
New Zealand,
Europe, and the Middle East
two bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
three bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
three bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
three bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
All premium cabin travelthree bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
three bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
three bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.
three bags,
each weighing up to 32kg or 70 lbs.

Oversized and Overweight Baggage Guidelines

United Airlines Overweight Baggage

United Airlines can charge around 200 USD to 500 USD for oversized and overweight bags. Baggage that exceeds the maximum limits is not accepted by United Airlines for transportation. Aircraft have limited space, and adjusting an extra bag leads to more charges. 

Usually, the airline does not accept oversized, overweight, and extra bags on selected destinations. Also, due to specific times, the airline is unable to check in extra baggage. 

If you are planning to bring excess or additional baggage, then keep the following things in mind:

  • Oversized bags – The airline will not accept a bag bigger than 115 inches or 292 centimeters 
  • Overweight bags – Bags weighing over 100 pounds or 45kg are not accepted. However, this is not applicable to musical instruments and assistive devices. United Airlines accepts musical instruments and assistive devices up to 165 pounds or 75kg. 
  • Extra bags – United Airlines accepts extra bags depending on the space availability. Fortunately, assistive devices are accepted for free. 

Travel with Sports Equipment on United Flight

Travel with Sports Equipment on United Flight

Passengers can travel with almost every type of sports equipment on United flights. The equipment is treated as your checked baggage, and sometimes fees are applicable as well. A standard checked bag fee is considered for every type of equipment. If it comes under oversized, overweight, or extra baggage, an additional fee will apply. Passengers are solely responsible for the secured and damage-prevent packaging. The airline is not liable for any damage afterwards. There are specific rules for traveling with a particular type of sports equipment that every concerned passenger should know. The following are the categories of sports equipment permitted on United Airlines flights. Visit the official website to check specific baggage rules.

Biking Boating and Surfing
Bowling Camping
Fencing and KendoFirearms
Fishing Golf
GymnasticsHand gliding
Hockey and lacrossejavelins
PaintballParachutes and parasails
Pole vaultingPool cues
Skiing and snowboardingTennis

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the baggage allowance for United Airlines International?

United International carry on size is  9 in x 14 in x 22 in or 23 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm, which is same for every flight.

Does United allow free carry on?

Yes, it allows one carry-on bag for free on most of its domestic and international flights.

Does United Airlines allow carry on bags?

Yes, passengers are allowed to carry one personal item and carry-on bags inside the United flight.

Does United Airlines allow extra baggage for students?

United Airlines provides baggage offers to students, but its essential to get the specifics right by directly contacting the airline.

Are laptops allowed in checked baggage on United Airlines?

United Airlines suggests passengers not to pack valuable items like laptops inside checked baggage. To protect them from possible damage.

What is the baggage allowance on United Airlines Economy?

United Airlines baggage allowance for Economy class includes one personal item for free, and 23kg checked baggage for a fee.

What is United Airlines carry on size?

The United carry-on size limit is 9 in x 14 in x 22 in or 23 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm, and there is no restrictions on weight. 

Does United allow 2 free checked bags?

Yes, passengers flying in Business and first class and Premier Gold members can check two bags under 32kg or 70 lbs. This service is free for flights between the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

How many kg can you carry-on United Airlines?

Passengers flying in United Economy or Premium Economy can check 23kg bag. On the other hand, first- and business-class passengers can check in 32kg bags. 

Is United strict with checked baggage weight?

Yes, United Airlines does not accept oversized and overweight baggage; otherwise, it charges a heavy fee for transportation. 

Does United allow 1 free checked bag?

Yes, United Airlines lets passengers check their first baggage for free when traveling within the continental U.S. or to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.

Does the United economy include baggage?

Yes, passengers have to pay charges to check in a bag. This is applicable to all economy classes. 

Also Read: Delta Airlines Baggage Allowance 


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply