Alaska Airlines is a popular airline that serves more than 100 different destinations across the globe. With hubs not just in Alaska, but other major cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, this is a great choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly airline.
Before you book your fare with Alaska Airlines, it’s a good idea to get a better understanding of their baggage fees and policies so you can plan accordingly for your trip. Fortunately, Alaska Airlines has baggage policies that are pretty clear-cut and easy to understand, so you should have no trouble figuring out which will apply to your upcoming travels. Check out the JetBlue baggage fees if you want to compare rates.
The biggest thing to be aware of when booking with Alaska Airlines is that the number of checked bags that are included with your airfare will vary depending on the type of fare you purchase. Other than that, their policies and fees for both checked and carry-on baggage are pretty standard when compared to other airlines in the industry.
Alaska Airlines Checked and Carry-On Allowances
Allowances for checked bags and carry-on luggage are pretty straight-forward when you fly with Alaska Airlines.
Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
Many fares with Alaska Airlines include some free checked baggage, with the exception of domestic Economy fares. If you book this fare type, expect to pay $30 for your first bag, $40 for your second bag, and $100 for each additional checked bag. Book a First Class fare, on the other hand, and your first and second bags will be free when you fly domestically (third bags cost $100). If flying within the state of Alaska, First Class passengers receive three free checked bags, with fourth bags and beyond costing an additional $100 each.
Be sure to measure and weigh your checked bags before you fly with Alaska Airlines, as there is a strict weight limit of 50 pounds and 62 linear inches. Overweight and oversized bags will be subject to additional fees.
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
Alaska Airlines offers pretty generous allowances for carry-on bags and suitcases, allowing all passengers one free personal item and one free standard carry-on page. These are free regardless of the type of fare you book. And while there are no specific rules regarding the size of a personal item, you should generally keep it small; a purse or small bag is appropriate and should be able to fit easily underneath the seat in front of you.
For your standard carry-on, make sure your bag doesn’t measure more than 22″ x 14″ x 9″. Measurements should include any handles, wheels, or other accessories attached to your bag. If your carry-on is larger than these measurements, you’ll be asked to check it instead.
What About Infants, Strollers, and Baby Gear?
If you’re traveling with a baby under the age of two, he or she can ride in your lap without the need for an additional fare. Unlike some other airlines, however, Alaska Airlines does count diaper bags towards your carry-on allowance, so keep this in mind as you planning for your trip.
If you’re traveling with a stroller and/or car seat for your child, these can also be checked at no additional fee. This can be done either at check-in or directly at the gate.
Charges For Additional and Overweight/Oversized Luggage
Any carry-on items that exceed the size limits set forth by Alaska Airlines will need to be checked, and checked baggage fees may apply. All checked bags should weigh no more than 50 pounds and measure no more than 62 linear inches. If your bag weighs more than 50 pounds but less than 100 pounds, you’ll be subjected to a $100 baggage fee. Any oversized bags measuring between 63 and 115 linear inches will be subjected to a $100 fee as well.
Unlike many other airlines, Alaska Airlines will not charge you both fees if your bag is oversized and overweight. Still, you’ll want to avoid that $100 fee by taking the time to weigh your checked bags using a luggage scale before you leave for the airport. Since carry-ons don’t have a posted weight limit, you might consider moving some of your belongings into your carry-on bag if your checked bag is over the weight limit. You can also choose to pack a little lighter, or bring along two smaller checked bags if you’ve booked a First Class fare (since two checked bags are included anyway).
Saving On Alaska Airlines Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
Who wants to pay more than they need to for baggage fees? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to potentially save on baggage fees or avoid them altogether when flying with Alaska Airlines.
Seek Reimbursement From Your Credit Card Company
It is not uncommon these days for some credit card companies to offer reimbursement options for card holders’ baggage fees. Check with your credit card company to see if this is something they offer. If so, you will probably be instructed to charge your applicable baggage fees to your card and then submit a request for an account credit after your trip.
Limit Your Luggage Based on Your Fare
If you’re planning on booking an Economy fare with Alaska Airlines, you’ll need to pay for each of your checked bags. With this in mind, you’ll want to plan accordingly to save money. Limit your luggage to one bag, if at all possible, to avoid additional checked bag fees. If you’re thinking about booking a First Class fare, you’ll be entitled to two free checked bags if you’re flying domestically and three free checked bags if flying within Alaska. This will likely be plenty to accommodate everything you need for your trip without incurring any additional checked bag fees.
Become an Elite Level Mileage Plan Member
If you do a lot of flying with Alaska Airlines, check to see if you could be eligible for their Elite Level Mileage Plan. If you do qualify for this plan, you’ll enjoy two free checked bags with each flight regardless of the specific fare type you book.
Explore Exclusions and Waivers
If you’re an active member of the United States military, you may be eligible for waived baggage fees. Specifically, Alaska Airlines offers up to five free checked bags to active duty military. They also enjoy larger size and weight allowances (up to 70 pounds for checked bags and up to 115 linear inches as well).
Alaska Airlines Baggage Policies: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Alaska Airlines baggage fees and policies.
What if I’m traveling with special equipment?
Alaska Airlines considers some sporting equipment, musical instruments, and media equipment to additional restrictions and policies. Contact the airline directly before traveling if you plan on flying with any of the equipment outlined on their list so you can see about possibly avoiding oversize or overweight baggage fees.
How much should I expect to pay for checked bags?
The amount you can expect to pay for your checked bags when flying with Alaska Airlines will vary depending on the type of fare you book and whether you’re flying within the state of Alaska or domestically. If you’re booking an Economy fare, no checked bags are included with your cost of airfare and you will pay $30 for your first bag, $40 for your second bag, and $100 for each additional bag regardless of your destination.
First Class passengers will receive their first two checked bags for free when flying domestically, and three free checked bags when flying within Alaska. All checked bags must adhere to size and weight limits to avoid an additional $100 fee.
What counts as a personal item with Alaska Airlines?
Alaska Airlines allows all passengers to bring a free personal item as a carry-on, in addition to a standard-sized international carry on measuring no greater than 22″ x 14″ x 19″. However, the airline doesn’t specify size restrictions for personal items. In general, you should bring along something small, such as a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag that will easily stow underneath the seat in front of you.
Can I pre-pay for my baggage fees?
Yes, Alaska Airlines makes it easy to pre-pay for your baggage before your flight to save you time and hassle on the day of your departure. You can do this online or via the Alaska Airlines mobile app up to 24 hours before your flight.