Recognized as the national airline of Colombia, Avianca Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance and offers passenger flights to more than 110 destinations across the globe. Many world travelers particularly enjoy flying with Avianca Airlines because of their affordable fares and their wide selection of focus cities.
Still, Avianca Airlines changed up their baggage policies early in 2019, so if you’ll be flying with them anytime in the near future, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with their current baggage policies and fees. You can also compare to JetBlue baggage fee policies. This way, you can avoid any unwanted surprises when it comes time to check in at the airport or board your flight.
Avianca Airlines Checked and Carry-On Allowances
When it comes to Avianca Airlines baggage policies and fees, nothing deviates too far from what would be considered industry-norm. For example, as with many other major airlines, Avianca Airlines offers free carry-on luggage and some free checked baggage with each fare. However, specific checked baggage allowances and fees for excess baggage can vary depending on your route and fare.
Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
One of the more complicated aspects of Avianca Airlines’ baggage policies is their checked baggage allowances. That’s because the number of checked bags included with your ticket can vary not just based on the type of fare you purchased, but your destination as well. For example, flights within Colombia, Peru, or Ecuador include one free checked bag for Economy Class and two free checked bags for Business Class.
On longer flights, such as those to/from North America, all ticketed passengers enjoy two free checked bags regardless of their cabin class. If there is any uncertainty as to how many checked bags are included with your fare, the best way to find out is to contact the airline directly.
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
Avianca Airlines’ allowances for carry-on items are a little easier to follow, as they’re not dictated by route or fare type. All ticketed passengers on Avianca Airlines are permitted on free personal item, as well as one free standard-sized carry-on bag. While there is no posted size or weight limit for personal items, these should be small items such as purses or laptop bags and should be easily stowed underneath the seat in front of you.
Standard-sized carry-ons, on the other hand, have more specific size and weight guidelines. Specifically, standard carry-ons should not measure greater than 45 linear inches or weigh more than 22 pounds. If you show up at the gate with a bag too large or too heavy, you will be asked to check your bag and pay applicable fees.
What About Infants, Strollers, and Baby Gear?
Those traveling with children under the age of two may be eligible to fly with their children in their lap in lieu of paying for an additional ticket. If you choose to travel with a lap infant, you may bring an additional carry-on, such as a diaper bag, to carry essentials that the child will need during the flight. Furthermore, a small stroller is also permitted to be carried aboard the flight, space permitting. If there is not enough space or if you would prefer, you may also check strollers free of charge, so long as they are small and collapsible.
Charges For Additional Bags and Overweight Luggage
Excess baggage fees and charges for overweight or oversized luggage can also be a bit confusing with Avianca Airlines. That’s because fees for excess baggage are based on weight and time of year. For example, paying for an additional bag that weighs less than 50 pounds on a flight to or from Europe during high season (June 15-September 15 or December 15-January 10) can cost $212, compared to just $64 during low season (January 11-June 14 and September 16-December 14).
Charges for additional baggage can also vary depending on your route, as there are different fees in place for flights within Colombia, within Peru, within Ecuador, and across continents. If you plan on checking additional baggage beyond what your fare includes, the best way to find out your cost will be to contact the airline directly. In most cases, however, you should expect to pay around $185 for an additional checked bag to most international destinations—and possibly much more if you bag weighs more than 50 pounds.
All checked bags on Avianca Airlines should weigh no more than 50 pounds for Economy Class fares and no more than 70 pounds for Business and First Class fares. Total linear dimensions of any checked bag should also not exceed 158 centimeters (62 inches). Baggage that is too large or too heavy will be subject to overweight and/or oversized baggage fees, and you can be charged both fees if your bag is too large and too heavy.
Specific fees for overweight bags can vary based on how overweight the bag is and your route. However, you can generally expect to pay between $60 and $325 each way for an overweight bag. Meanwhile, oversized bags can cost you anywhere from $80 to $260 each way.
Saving On Avianca Airlines Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
Avoiding spending more than you need to on baggage fees with Avianca Airlines by following a few of our money-saving tips.
Seek Reimbursement From Your Credit Card Company
If you carry a travel credit card, check with your credit card company to see if they include baggage fee reimbursement as part of your cardholder perks. If so, then you may be able to charge eligible baggage fees to your credit card and have the amounts credited to your account at the end of your billing cycle. Just keep in mind that most credit card companies offering this perk have strict limits and restrictions—and they generally will not reimburse for excess or overweight/oversized baggage fees.
Become a LifeMiles or Star Alliance Member
If you’re a member of Avianca Airlines LifeMiles program or the Star Alliance program, you can enjoy a wide range of additional benefits, including extra baggage allowances. Specifically, Diamond and Gold members can receive an extra piece of checked luggage on both Economy and Business Class fares. Silver-level members can receive up to two additional pieces. LifeMiles Elite members can also receive an additional carry-on bag for most flights. If you can’t join these programs, there are more airline miles programs out there.
Limit What You Pack to Your Included Baggage
Because all fares on Avianca Airlines come with at least some checked and carry-on baggage, you may be able to avoid additional baggage fees by simply knowing what your allowances are ahead of time and packing to conform to those allowances. For example, if you know your fare includes one checked bag, plus your personal item and carry-on, you may be able to successfully pack everything you need in that baggage. This will allow you to fly without paying any baggage fees at all, so long as your bags are not too large or too heavy.
Avianca Airlines Baggage Policies: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about Avianca Airlines baggage fees and policies.
How much checked luggage is included with my Avianca Airlines fare?
There is no universal answer to this question, as checked baggage allowances can vary based on fare type and route. However, it is safe to say that all fares with Avianca Airlines include at least one checked bag that can weigh up to 50 pounds and measure up to 62 linear inches, even in Economy Class. The best way to find out your baggage allowance is to contact the airline directly with your flight details.
Can I pre-pay for my luggage with Avianca Airlines?
Yes, you are welcome to pay for your baggage at the same time you book your flight online. You also have the option of calling the airline anytime leading up to your flight to pay for your luggage. In fact, you may even enjoy some discounts on luggage fees if you do so more than a week in advance.
How can I avoid oversized and overweight baggage fees?
Avianca Airlines, like many airlines, has strict rules on how large and heavy both checked and carry-on luggage can be. Make sure you’re aware of your specific weight allowance based on your fare type. The best way to avoid overweight and oversized baggage fees (which can be quite high and are charged each way) is to measure and weigh your bags at home before you leave for the airport. You also need to make sure you follow all TSA rules when packing so your luggage does not get left behind at the airport. A luggage scale can provide you with an accurate weight; if you need to, remove some items from your bag or move them into a carry-on to conform to the airline’s weight restrictions.
When measuring your bags, make sure to include any handles, wheels, and all other parts of the bag in your measurements for accuracy. If your checked bag’s total linear dimensions exceed 62 inches, you’ll be subjected to oversized baggage fees for each leg of your trip, which can add up quickly.