United Airlines Baggage and Carry-on

What is the carry-on allowance?

United Airlines accepts one carry-on bag and one personal item per passenger, free of charge, with one exception: only one personal item, no carry-on bag, for Basic Economy tickets for all flights other than trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific. In this case, a carry-on bag brought to the gate will be checked in and subject to the applicable checked bag fee plus a $25 gate handling charge.

Carry-on allowances for United’s codeshare partners may be different.

What is United’s policy on checked baggage allowance?

On United and United Express flights, you are allowed up to two pieces of checked baggage with a maximum weight of 50 pounds (23 kg) and a maximum outside linear dimension of 62 inches (158 cm), subject to payment of the applicable service fee(s).

The charges for the first and second checked bags vary depending on the type of fare purchased, date of purchase, date of travel, active military status, the itinerary (e.g., domestic or international), and/or when and where baggage is checked, and the applicable service fee is paid. Subject to the foregoing statement (checked baggage fees may differ on specific routes and within specific periods), United applies the following checked baggage charges or allowances for Economy Class:

  • First and second bag charges:
    • For travel within the US (including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and to/from the Caribbean and Central America (except El Salvador, Panama):
      • 1st checked bag – 30 USD – prepaid; 35 USD – standard.
      • 2nd checked bag – 40 USD – prepaid; 45 USD – standard.
    • For travel between the US and Canada:
      • 1st checked bag – 30 USD.
      • 2nd checked bag – 50 USD.
    • For travel between the US and Mexico:
      • 1st checked bag – 30-35 USD.
      • 2nd checked bag – 55-65 USD.
    • For Basic Economy tickets for travel to/from Central and South America:
      • 1st checked bag – 30-45 USD.
      • 2nd checked bag – 45-65 USD.
    • For Basic Economy tickets on trans-Atlantic flights:
      • 1st checked bag – 70 USD.
      • 2nd checked bag – 100 USD.
  • First bag free and second bag charges:
    • 55-65 USD – for travel between the US and South America, El Salvador, Panama.
    • 70 USD – for travel between the US and Guam, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau.
    • 100 USD – for travel between the US and Europe, Israel, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Morocco, Tunis.
    • 100 USD – for Basic Economy tickets on trans-Pacific flights.
  • First and second bag free – for other flights.

Premium Economy passengers have a baggage allowance of 2 bags up to 50 lbs (23 kg) free of charge. Business and First Class passengers have a baggage allowance of 2 bags up to 70 lbs (32 kg) free of charge.

United Airlines may make exceptions to the baggage allowance policy (e.g., to the number, size, weight, and/or applicable service charges) for certain MileagePlus members, First Class and Business First customers, certain credit card holders, and active military personnel.

What are the baggage policies in the case of codeshare or Star Alliance partner flights?

When your itinerary includes traveling on a codeshare flight or on an aircraft operated by a Star Alliance member airline, the policy regarding checked bags is determined, for your entire itinerary, by the marketing carrier for the first segment of your itinerary (originating marketing carrier).

How can I calculate my baggage fees?

You may determine your first and second bag charges using the calculator placed at your disposal on the United’s website. You may also view additional and other baggage fees. You may determine the baggage fees charged by the originating marketing carrier, when this carrier is not United or United Express.


Your carry-on items must be stowed under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. You may not use the seat back pocket to stow the carry-on items. Any item exceeding the carry-on allowance or size requirements will be checked to your final destination and may be subject to applicable checked baggage fees. Carry-on bags or personal items suspected of being oversized may require being placed into a sizing unit to determine acceptability.

For your carry-on bag to comply with the size requirements set by United Airlines, it may not exceed the maximum outside linear dimensions of 45 inches (114 cm), 14 inches length x 9 inches width x 22 inches height (35 x 22 x 56 cm), which includes its wheels and handles. Also, it may not be longer than 22 inches in any single dimension.

Bulky and/or fragile items requiring the use of a seat are accepted, provided that a ticket is purchased, and considered cabin-seat baggage. Examples of such items include large or valuable musical instruments, media cameras, garment bags, etc.

Your personal item (e.g., a shoulder bag, laptop bag, or other small item) must not exceed, including any wheels and handles, 9 inches length x 10 inches width x 17 inches height (25 x 22 x 43 cm). Also, it may not be longer than 17 inches in any single dimension.

In addition to the carry-on allowance, the following items do not count toward the “one carry-on plus one personal item” limit:

  • Overcoat or wrap.
  • Umbrella.
  • A reasonable amount of reading material.
  • Pet carrier (fees apply).
  • A collapsible wheelchair.
  • An FAA-approved child restraint seat.
  • Camera.
  • Diaper bag.
  • A limited amount of food purchased in the airport or duty-free merchandise.
  • Assistive devices (e.g., cane, crutches, portable oxygen concentrator, etc.).

United Express flights are operated with smaller aircraft that generally have less room in the overhead bins, so roller bags and other larger carry-on items may need to be gate-checked. On Embraer EMB 170, Embraer EMB 175, and CRJ 700 aircraft, roller bags and larger carry-on items may be taken on board. On Embraer EMB 145 and CRJ 200 aircraft, the standard carry-on size bag will be checked at the gate free of charge

Checked baggage

You may check your bags and pay the checked baggage service charges online, or you can choose to do so at the airport (at a baggage kiosk, at the curbside or ticket counter). Only kiosks at designated check-in counter locations, baggage kiosks, offer the option to check baggage. The same time requirements as for checking in for domestic and international flights apply for checking baggage.

Any piece over the baggage allowance or exceeding the size and/or weight limitations will be subject to additional charges. Baggage in excess of 100 pounds (45 kilograms) or 115 linear inches (292 cm) (total length + width + height) will not be accepted as checked baggage, except for assistive devices (including electric wheelchairs weighing more than 100 pounds), that will continue to be accepted at no charge.

All excess, oversized, and overweight baggage charges are calculated on a one-way basis. Baggage connecting to other airlines will also be subject to the connecting airline’s excess, oversize and/or overweight charges in addition to United Airlines charges.

Excess Baggage

Bags checked in addition to the passenger’s baggage allowance are considered excess baggage and are subject to charges. Passengers with checked baggage in excess of the baggage allowance will be charged as follows:

  • For flights within the US, flights between the US and Canada, the Caribbean, Central America (except Mexico), and South America – 150 USD per piece.
  • For flights between the US and Mexico – 180 USD per piece.
  • For all other flights – 200 USD per piece.

Excess baggage is accepted on a space-available basis only. Additional limits on excess baggage may apply for certain international travel (e.g., no more than three additional pieces for travel between the U.S. and Brazil).

Oversized Baggage

Checked bags exceeding 62 linear inches (158 linear cm)up to 115 linear inches (292 cm) are considered oversized baggage. Passengers traveling with oversized checked baggage will be charged 200 USD per piece.

Overweight Baggage

Checked bags weighing more than 50 pounds (23 kg) are considered overweight baggage. On certain routes, the following customers are allowed baggage with a weight not to exceed 70 pounds:

  • Customers ticketed and confirmed in United First, United Business, or United Polaris at the time of baggage check-in.
  • Premier Silver, Gold, Platinum, and 1K members and Star Alliance Gold members.
  • Active U.S. military personnel, whether or not they are traveling on military orders.
  • U.S. military dependents when traveling with military personnel on the same reservation, or without military personnel but on military business.

Overweight baggage will be charged as follows:

  • For flights within the US, flights between the US and Canada, Mexico, and Cuba:
    • 100 USD per overweight piece 51-70 lbs (23-32 kg).
    • 200 USD per overweight piece 71-100 lbs (32-45 kg).
  • For all other flights:
    • 200 USD per overweight piece 51-70 lbs (23-32 kg).
    • 400 USD per overweight piece 71-100 lbs (32-45 kg).

Additional limits on overweight baggage may apply for certain international destinations (e.g., checked baggage is limited to 70 pounds when traveling to Lima, Sydney, London, Athens, Istanbul, etc.).

Excess Baggage Embargo

Excess, oversized, and/or overweight baggage may not be accepted or may be accepted under more restrictive conditions when traveling to/from certain destinations during certain specified dates (usually holiday periods). For a list of cities and effective dates visit united.com or contact United Reservations.

No excess baggage is accepted during an excess baggage embargo. However, one box of maximum 50 pounds (23 kg) and 62 linear inches (158 cm) will be accepted free of charge, instead of one free bag, except on United Express flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America operated by ExpressJet Airlines, when one box of maximum 50 pounds and 42 linear inches (107 cm) will be accepted free of charge, instead of one free bag.

Baggage fees may vary during baggage embargo periods.

Sporting Equipment

United Airlines will accept most sporting equipment (golf equipment, skis, snowboards, kiteboards, bicycles, etc.) as checked baggage, subject to provisions of the general baggage policy (checked baggage allowance, excess baggage fees, etc.).

A bicycle packed in a container that weighs between 51 and 100 lbs and measures less than 62 total linear inches, one empty dive tank, or up to three rebreather tanks may be checked as special items subject to a service charge of $150 one way for travel between the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and $200 one way for international travel.

Kayaks and canoes are not accepted as checked baggage.

Baggage Delivery

For flights between select U.S. airports, United offers Baggage Delivery, provided by Bags VIP, so you can skip the wait at baggage claim. United’s baggage liability policy does not apply to baggage delivered through this service.

In just a few minutes, you can arrange to have your baggage delivered to a destination of your choice (home, hotel or office):

  • Make your Baggage Delivery reservation after having completed your flight reservation.
  • At the airport, check your bags and pay any associated checked baggage service charges. Your Baggage Delivery information will be encoded in your bag tags.
  • After the arrival of your flight, your baggage will be delivered by Bags VIP to the designated location within four to six hours depending on the location’s distance from the airport (less than 40 miles or between 41 and 100 miles). Delivery to a business will require a signature.

Baggage Delivery service is available in the following conditions:

  • Baggage Delivery by Bags VIP is available exclusively for flights from any U.S. domestic location to a participating airport.
  • You must schedule delivery at least one hour prior to your flight’s departure time.
  • Baggage Delivery charges are applied per reservation, for up to 8 bags.
  • Baggage Delivery charges apply in addition to checked baggage service charges associated with United’s checked baggage policy.
  • Baggage Delivery charge is fully refundable for cancellations requested more than 24 hours in advance of the scheduled flight arrival. A full refund will be processed, but a $15 fee will apply, for cancellation requests placed within 24 hours of the scheduled flight arrival. In the event that the customer’s bags are delayed for any reason, the charge is fully refundable.

Airports served by Bags VIP

Baggage service

United Airlines is not liable for your carry-on baggage. If you have lost an unchecked article, you must fill a Report Lost Item form, providing a thorough description of your item. For an electronic item, you should provide the device’s serial number. United Airlines will only contact you if your item is located.

Damaged baggage should be reported to and viewed by the airport Baggage Service Office immediately after the arrival of your flight. For flights within or between the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, you must present your damaged baggage for inspection and submit a claim in writing to United Airlines no later than 24 hours after flight arrival. For international flights, any damaged baggage must be reported in writing to United no later than seven days after the flight’s arrival.

If you are missing items from your checked baggage, you should report it to the airport Baggage Service Office immediately after the arrival of your flight, and in writing no later than 24 hours after discovery. You may also report missing items to the United Airlines Baggage Resolution Service Center.

In case of delayed baggage, you must report it to the airport Baggage Service Office immediately after the arrival of your flight, and in writing no later than 24 hours after discovery of the delay. If you have a file reference number, you may find information about your delayed baggage using Baggage tracing at united.com.

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