If you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean in the near future, you’ll want to check out airfare through AirTran Airways; this popular airline is known for its budget-friendly flights from the United States to the Caribbean and vice versa. Before you book your flight, however, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of AirTran Airways’ policies—especially as they relate to baggage allowances and fees. Want to compare airlines? Check out the American Airlines baggage fees.
Note: AirTran is now a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines. If you need those baggage fees, check out the Southwest Airlines baggage fees. By knowing what your allowances are for carry-ons and checked bags ahead of time, you can prepare for your flight and avoid unwanted surprises.
AirTran Airways Checked and Carry-On Allowances
Fortunately, AirTran Airways’ checked and carry-on policies are pretty straight-forward, especially when compared to other airlines that offer international flights.
Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
Perhaps the most important thing to be aware of when it comes to checked bags on AirTran Airways is that the airline doesn’t include any free checked baggage with any flight, regardless of the fare you have booked. In other words, if you need to check any luggage at all, you’ll be expected to pay out-of-pocket. Prior to policy changes made in 2008, the airline included anywhere from 1-2 free checked bags with all fares, but this is no longer the case.
The specific fees you’ll pay for your checked baggage can vary depending on how many you’re checking. For your first bag, you can generally expect to pay $20. An additional bag will cost you $25.
All checked bags on AirTran Airways must weigh no more than 50 pounds and measure no greater than 62 linear inches. Overweight and oversized bags will be charged fees.
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
When flying AirTran Airways, all passengers are entitled to one free standard-sized carry-on bag and one free personal item. Standard carry-on items should measure no greater than 55 linear inches. And while personal items do not technically have a size limit, you should stick to a smaller item such as a purse, laptop bag, or briefcase. If any of your carry-on items don’t fit in underneath the seat in front of you, you will be asked to stow them in an overhead bin.
What About Infants, Strollers, and Baby Gear?
If you’re flying with an infant under the age of two, you are not required to purchase him or her a seat; these infants can sit in your lap for the duration of the flight. If you’re traveling with a stroller and/or car seat, you are permitted to check these at no additional charge either at the airport check-in or at the gate for your flight.
If you’re flying with a lap infant, you can also bring along one small additional carry-on at no charge. This may include a breast pump, a diaper bag, or similar item.
Charges For Additional and Overweight/Oversized Luggage
All checked bags on AirTran Airways should weigh no more than 50 pounds and measure no greater than 62 linear inches. Measurements should include any handles, wheels, or other accessories on the bag itself.
If your bag is overweight or oversized, you’ll be subjected to additional fees. For all bags between 51 and 70 pounds, for example, you can expect an additional fee of $39. For bags between 70 and 100 pounds, that fee increases to $79. Please be aware that bags weighing more than 100 pounds cannot be checked with AirTran Airways, so it’s a good idea to use a luggage scale to weigh your bags before flying.
Oversized baggage fees apply to any bag measuring greater than 62 linear inches. Fees for bags measuring more than 60 but less than 71 linear inches will be charged a $39 fee, whereas bags between 71 and 80 linear inches will incur a $79 fee. Bags with larger measurements will not be permitted with AirTran Airways.
Saving On AirTran Airways Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
Looking to save money on your next trip? Avoid paying more than you need to for baggage fees on AirTran Airways by following these simple tips.
Seek Reimbursement From Your Credit Card Company
If you use a travel rewards credit card, check with your credit card company to see if they offer any form of baggage fee reimbursement. Some credit card companies offer this as a perk to card holders. Usually, if this is the case, you will be instructed to pay for your baggage fees using your qualifying credit card. After your trip, you can fill out a request for reimbursement—typically in the form of an account credit.
If you plan on seeking reimbursement from your credit card company, find out what their exact policies and restrictions are to avoid surprises. For example, most credit card companies that offer this perk won’t reimburse for overweight/oversize baggage fees.
Weigh and Measure Your Bags Before Your Trip
Because oversized and overweight baggage fees on AirTran Airways can add up quickly, it’s a good idea to carefully weigh and measure your bags prior to your trip to avoid additional expenses. A luggage scale can help you ensure that your bag isn’t overweight. If you do have an overweight bag, consider packing a little more lightly or moving some of your items into your carry-on, if possible.
Be careful about your carry-on measurements as well. Any carry-ons measuring more than 55 linear inches will need to be checked, so you can avoid unnecessary checked bag fees by using an appropriately sized carry-on.
Limit Your Luggage to Your Carry-Ons
Speaking of carry-ons, you may be able to avoid baggage fees with AirTran Airways altogether by simply limiting what you pack to your carry-on items. This is a more practical option for shorter trips where you may not need to pack very much. Going this route can also save you time waiting at the baggage claim.
AirTran Airways Baggage Policies: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about AirTran Airways baggage policies and fees.
Does AirTran Airways include any checked bags with my fare?
AirTran Airways is one of many airlines that doesn’t include any checked bags with your fare, regardless of your route or specific type of fare booked. If you have to check any luggage when flying with AirTran Airways, you should expect to pay at least $20 per bag.
What are AirTran Airways’ carry-on size and weight restrictions?
If you’re carrying on luggage with AirTran Airways, be sure to limit your carry-on bag size to no greater than 55 linear inches and meets all TSA rules. Otherwise, you’ll be required to check your bag (and pay the appropriate fees). There are not any posted weight limits for carry-ons, but keep in mind that you’ll need to be able to lift your baggage into the overhead bins—so it’s not wise to bring anything too heavy.
How can I avoid overweight and oversized baggage fees?
Because overweight and oversized baggage fees with AirTran Airways can be quite costly, it’s in your best interest to measure and weigh your bags yourself before your flight. You can use a luggage scale to get an accurate reading of the weight of your baggage. If any of your checked bags will weigh more than 50 pounds, you’ll want to either remove some items or move them into your carry-on. Otherwise, you can expect to pay additional fees.
When measuring your baggage for linear size, make sure to include any wheels, handles, or other accessories for the most accurate measurement.
Can I pay for my baggage before my flight?
Yes, you can pre-pay for your baggage when you fly with AirTran Airways. You can do this by calling the airline directly or paying online. Keep in mind that you could actually save some money by pre-paying for your luggage, especially if you plan on checking more than one bag. For example, checking a second bag with AirTran airways is usually at least $20 at the airport, but you may be able to add a checked bag for as little as $10 when you pay online.
What if I’m flying with special equipment?
If you’ll be traveling with any large sports equipment, media gear, or other specialty items, it’s best to contact the airline directly before your flight so they can accommodate you. In most cases, you will be charged a handling fee for special items, especially if they are larger in size or fragile.