2023 United Airlines Baggage Allowance for Carry On and Checked Baggage

Review United Airlines baggage allowance and baggage fees before traveling

United Baggage Allowance
United Airlines Baggage Allowance

Send Your Luggage

If you need to take more on your journey than United's baggage allowance permits, or if you would rather do without the hassle of traveling with luggage, why not ship your luggage using our door-to-door luggage service? We pick your luggage up before you leave, then deliver it to your destination, whether that's your new home abroad or a hotel reception. Read more about sending unaccompanied baggage.

United Airlines Baggage Allowance:

The United Airlines carry-on allowance permits you to bring one cabin bag at 9 x 14 x 22 inches (22 x 35 x 56 cm), plus one personal item with maximum total dimensions of 9 x 10 x 17 inches (22 x 25 x 43 cm).

The United Airlines baggage allowance for passengers traveling on a Basic Economy fare is different, however. Basic Economy passengers (except on trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific fights, or flights to South America) are not permitted to carry on board a larger cabin bag. Basic Economy Fare passengers may only bring on board one personal item with maximum dimensions of 9 x 10 x 17 inches (22 x 25 x 43 cm).

If you are a Basic Economy passenger and bring a full-sized cabin bag to the gate, you will be required to check it in and pay a $25 handling fee.

Items such as an umbrella, child restraint or nappy/diaper bag are also permitted by the United Airlines baggage allowance.

On United Express flights, customers may need to check in larger cabin items at the gate, due to the smaller aircraft being used on these routes.

United Airlines Carry On for Infants

Adults traveling with infants on their lap may bring a diaper bag, breast pump and child seat, in addition to their standard carry-on allowance.

United Airlines Carry On and Musical Instruments

The United Airlines baggage allowance rules state that musical instruments may be carried on board, along with a personal item, and stowed in the overhead locker or under the seat in front.

If traveling on a Basic Economy fare, however, the instrument can be carried instead of a personal item. If you bring an instrument to the gate that cannot be stored in the cabin, it must be checked and a $25 handling fee must be paid.

United Airlines Carry On and Bringing Pets on Board

As part of United Airlines' carry on allowance, domesticated cats and  are permitted 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 Carry On and Prohibited Items

Certain items cannot be carried on board the aircraft as they are considered dangerous. These include:

Camping equipment containing fuel,

Defense sprays,




United Airlines Checked Baggage and Baggage Fees

United Airlines' checked baggage allowance permits Economy and Basic Economy fare passengers to check into the hold bags that measure no more than 62 inches (158 cm) in total and that weigh no more than 50 lbs (23 kg).

Higher fares, such as Business and First, plus active US military personnel, may carry bags up to 70 lbs (32 kg) in weight.

US military personnel on official business are allowed to check luggage measuring up to 115 inches (292 cm) in total.

The amount United charges for checked baggage varies according to route.

On a US domestic flight with an economy ticket, a passenger would expect to pay

$30 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second.

On an economy fare to Europe, the first bag is free of charge and the second costs $100.   On basic economy fares to Europe, the first bag costs $75 and the second costs $100.

A number of routes, such as US - Dubai, permit 2 checked bags free of charge.

There are increased United luggage allowances with higher fare types.

United Airlines Checked Baggage for Children

Children, including infants are granted the standard United checked baggage allowance, plus an allowance of one pushchair or car seat.

United Airlines Checked Baggage and Excess Baggage Fees

If a bag exceeds the United Airlines baggage allowance, fees will be charged. These vary according to destination and the type of fare traveled on.

For example, on an economy fare between Europe and the US, a third, and any further 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 incur a charge of $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 incur a charge of $200 extra per bag

According to the rules regarding United’s baggage allowances, 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

Please note that there are both temporary and permanent excess baggage embargoes on certain routes, which restrict baggage allowances with United.

United Airlines Checked Baggage and Exceptional Items

Items that the United Airlines baggage allowance rules consider to be exceptional items, such as sports equipment, can be checked into the hold, often as standard checked baggage. There are some exceptions, however. 

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

Oversize charges apply to musical instruments that measure 63 to 115 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, you should contact the United Customer Contact Center.

United Airlines Checked Baggage and Pets

Pets are not permitted to be sent in the hold with United.

Information correct as of 08/03/2023

Other Airline Baggage Allowances:

Delta Airlines baggage allowance

American Airlines baggage allowance

Jet Blue baggage allowance

Spirit baggage allowance

United Airlines News

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17/06/2020: United Airlines Strengthens Mask Rules

Along with other Airlines for America (A4A) members, United Airlines reveal they are to strengthen their mandatory mask rules in order to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect passengers and crew.

21/04/2020: United Airlines Lost $2.1 Billion in First Quarter

Although figures are preliminary, it is estimated the Chicago-based United have lost $2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020. This is 17% lower compared to the same period in 2019 and the airlines biggest loss in twelve years.

15/04/2020: US Government Agree on $25bn Bailout Package for Airlines

The US government agree on a $25bn bailout package for the struggling airline industry in the wake of COVID-19.

The following airlines are expected benefit from the bailout package: Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, United, SkyWest and Southwest.

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Baggage at a glance
United Airlines Carry On

Economy fare: one cabin bag, plus one personal item

9 x 14 x 22 inches (22 x 35 x 56 cm)

9 x 10 x 17 inches (22 x 25 x 43 cm)

Basic economy fare:  one personal item

9 x 10 x 17 inches (22 x 25 x 43 cm)

United Airlines Checked Baggage and Baggage Fees

May be charged, depending on route and fare type

Max. 50 lbs (23 kg) per bag for economy fares

Excess, overweight and oversized baggage fees apply