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United Luggage Allowance & Excess Baggage Fees

Review United luggage allowances and charges before travelling.

united carry-on allowance

United passengers are permitted to carry one cabin bag at 9 x 14 x 22 inches (22 x 35 x 56 cm), plus one personal item with maximum dimensions of 9 x 10 x 17 inches  (22 x 25 x 43 cm).

Passengers may also carry items such as an umbrella, child restraint or nappy bag.

On United Express flights, customers may need to gate-check larger carry-on items, due to smaller aircraft.


United allows domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and birds to travel in the cabin on most flights within the US. A pet must be transported in a carrier and can be carried in addition to a carry-on bag. The cost is $125, one way. The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches (44 x 30 x 19 cm). The maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18 x 11 x 11 inches (46 x 28 x 28 cm). With the exception of birds, there may only be one pet per kennel, and the animal must be able to stand up and turn around comfortably.

united Checked-in baggage

Passengers can check luggage into the hold, with each bag measuring no more than 62 inches (158 cm) in total and weighing no more than 50 lbs (23 kg), for economy fares.

More expensive fares, plus US military personnel, may carry bags up to 70 lbs (32 kg) in weight.

US military personnel on orders may check luggage measuring up to 115 inches (292 cm) in total.

The amount charged for checking baggage varies according to route.

For example, on a US domestic flight with an economy ticket, a passenger would expect to pay

$25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second.

On an economy fare to Europe, the first bag is free and the second costs $100.

Certain routes, such as US - Dubai / Rio de Janeiro allow 2 checked bags free of charge.

There are increased allowances with higher fare types.

children's luggage

Infants on a fare that is 10% of an adult fare are granted a checked baggage allowance of one pushchair or car seat, plus one other item (max. dimensions 62 inches (157 cm); max. weight 23 kg).

united excess baggage fees

If a bag exceeds allowances, fees will be charged. These vary according to destination and fare type.

For example, on an economy fare between Europe and the US, a third, and any additional bag, costs $200.

Overweight bags from 51 to 70 lbs (24 to 32 kg) cost $200 extra per bag

Oversized bags from 63 to 115 inches (160 to 292 cm) also cost $200 extra per bag

On an economy fare from Newark to Chicago, a third, and any additional bag, costs $150.

Overweight bags from 51 to 70 lbs (24 to 32 kg) cost $100 extra per bag (or $200 between 71 and 100 lbs (33 to 46 kg)

Oversized bags from 63 to 115 inches (160 to 292 cm) also cost $200 extra per bag

All three penalties could potentially apply to one bag.

Bags which exceed 115 inches (292 cm) in total and 100 lbs (45 kg) will not be accepted as checked baggage

exceptional items

Exceptional items, such as sports equipment, can be checked into the hold, often as standard checked baggage.

There are some exceptions. Bicycles over 50 lbs (23 kg) and/or 62 inches (158 cm) incur a $150 service charge for travel between the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and a $200 service charge for all other routes.

Musical instruments can be checked into the hold, as long as they are properly packaged.

Oversize charges apply to musical instruments that measure 63 to115 inches in total dimensions. Overweight charges apply to musical instruments that are over 50 lbs, but those weighing up to 165 lbs will be accepted. If the instrument is over 115 inches in total dimensions, contact the United Customer Contact Center.


Pets can be transported in the hold. Costs for this vary greatly. For example, for travel from the US to the UK, it costs $659 to transport an animal weighing between 5 and 24 kg.

Disclaimer - Information gathered from these webpages on 18/01/2016:

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