With budget-friendly flights to more than 90 destinations worldwide, Japan Airlines is the largest airline in the “Land of the Rising Sun.” Planning on flying with Japan Airlines in the near future? If so, then of course you’ll want to prepare yourself for flying with this airline, especially if it will be your first time. Japan Airlines is known for its friendly customer service and affordable fares, as well as their rather generous baggage policies similar to Emirates baggage fees. By familiarizing yourself with their specific baggage policies and fees prior to your trip, you can plan and budget with greater confidence.
Japan Airlines Checked and Carry-On Allowances
Compared to many other airlines, Japan Airlines offers some of the most generous baggage policies in the industry. Not only do they include free carry-on baggage, but all their fares also include a minimum of two free checked bags.
Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
There are four different fare types when you fly with Japan Airlines: Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First Class. In terms of checked baggage, both Economy and Premium Economy passengers are permitted two free checked bags weighing no more than 50 pounds apiece. Business and First Class passengers are allowed three free checked bags with a maximum weight of 70 pounds each.
No matter what type of fare you’ve purchased, all checked bags should measure no greater than 80 linear inches. This is significantly larger than the standard 62 linear inch size maximum that is in place with many major airlines.
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
In addition to whatever checked baggage is included with your fare, Japan Airlines is also rather liberal with their carry-on allowances. All ticketed passengers are permitted not only one free personal item, but an additional standard carry-on bag at no cost. While there is no posted size limit on personal items, these should generally be smaller in nature. Some common examples of generally accepted personal items include purses, laptop bags, and briefcases.
Standard carry-on items should not measure greater than 22″ x 16″ x 10″; this measurement should include any handles, wheels, or other accessories on your bag. The total weight of your personal item and standard carry-on should also not exceed 22 pounds.
If you attempt to bring a carry-on that is too large or heavy past the gate, you will be required to check the bag(s) and pay any applicable fees, so it’s a good idea to carry out any measurements needed ahead of time so as to avoid extra fees and hassle.
What About Infants, Strollers, and Baby Gear?
If you’ll be traveling with a young baby who does not require his or her own seat, Japan Airlines permits an additional carry-on bag (such as a diaper bag), so long as its total dimensions don’t exceed 80 linear inches or 22 pounds. Those traveling with infants may also bring and check a stroller at the check-in counter with the rest of their luggage or at the gate. If you choose to check a stroller at check-in, the airline will provide a free stroller to use throughout the airport at your request as well.
Charges For Additional Bags and Overweight Luggage
Japan Airlines offers a generous amount of free checked and carry-on baggage, but if you need to purchase additional checked bags, you may pay a bit of a premium. The same applies if any of your checked luggage is oversized or overweight.
Specific charges for additional baggage will vary depending on your route. For domestic flights within Japan, for example, you can expect to spend an additional $50 for each checked bag beyond your included allowance. For longer routes, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 for each additional bag.
Avoid overweight and oversized baggage fees by knowing your bag size/weight limits based on your fare. For example, checked bags for Economy and Premium Economy fares should not exceed 50 pounds, whereas Business and First Class fares have a maximum weight of 70 pounds per bag. All checked bags should measure no greater than 80 linear inches.
Overweight and oversized bag fees will also vary depending on your route. For domestic flights, an overweight bag will cost $10 if it weighs between 51 and 70 pounds. Bags weighing more than 70 pounds will be subjected to greater fees of up to $150. For longer flights, these expenses can range between $60 and $600.
Oversized bag fees will vary between $50 and $200, depending on your route.
Saving On Japan Airlines Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
Japan Airlines is one of the most accommodating when it comes to free checked bags and free carry-on luggage, so saving money on your baggage fees when flying this airline should be pretty straight-forward. Still, there are some tips you can follow to maximize your savings and avoid paying any more than you need to.
Seek Reimbursement From an Eligible Credit Card
If you carry a travel credit card, check to see if your credit card company offers any kind of reimbursement or account credit for baggage fees with Japan Airlines. You may be able to use your credit card to pay for any applicable baggage fees and then apply for reimbursement after your trip. Just be sure to follow your credit card company’s specific rules and regulations, as they can vary from one carrier to the next.
Also, be aware that most credit card companies that offer baggage fee reimbursement do not reimburse for fees related to oversized or overweight baggage.
Limit Baggage to Your Carry-Ons or Allowances
Even if you book a basic Economy fare with Japan Airlines, your ticket should still include two free checked bags plus your free personal item and standard carry-on bag. With a little planning and foresight, you can most likely limit what you pack to this included baggage and thus avoid paying any excess baggage fees through the airline.
Become a JMB Fly On or JMB CRYSTAL Member
If you do a lot of flying with Japan Airlines, look into becoming a member of their frequent flyer program. Known as JMB Fly On, this program allow some extra perks that can save you money on your baggage fees.
JMB Fly On members, for example, receive one additional checked bag beyond your fare’s included allowance. This means that even Economy and Premium Economy fares will receive three free checked bags instead of two.
Japan Airlines Baggage Policies: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about baggage policies and fees with Japan Airlines.
How much checked baggage does my fare include?
The number of free checked bags will vary depending on your fare; Economy and Premium Economy fares, for example, include two free checked bags at a maximum weight of 50 pounds each. Business and First Class fares, on the other hand, include three free checked bags at 70 pounds each. All checked bags on Japan Airlines should measure no greater than 80 linear inches.
Am I able to pre-pay for my luggage?
Unfortunately, Japan Airlines is one of just a handful of airlines that does not permit passengers to pre-pay for their baggage ahead of their flights. Instead, you will need to pay for your baggage at the airline ticket counter or at the gate, depending on your preferences. If you need to check any additional bags beyond what is included in your fare’s allowance, you’ll need to wait to pay for these at the check-in counter or gate as well.
What if I’m traveling with special equipment?
If you’ll be traveling with any special luggage, it’s best to check the Japan Airlines website for additional information or contact the airline directly for instructions. Some common examples of special luggage include sports equipment, media gear, pets, and medical equipment. Some of these luggage may be subject to additional fees. Either way, Japan Airlines is known for being rather accommodating when it comes to checking and handling unique baggage; the key is to speak with them ahead of your flight so you know what to expect.
How can I avoid overweight/oversized baggage fees?
Japan Airlines has some of the largest weight and size allowances in the industry, but you may still be subject to oversized and overweight baggage fees if you’re not careful. For your carry-on, you can check the carry-on bag size guide we offer. Depending on your fare type, checked bags shouldn’t weigh more than 50-70 pounds and no checked baggage should measure greater than 80 linear inches. There are special size and weight restrictions for carry-on baggage as well.
The best way to avoid these extra fees is simply to measure and weigh your bags before you leave for the airport. A luggage scale is a great option for getting an accurate measurement of your baggage. If any of your bags are overweight, remove some items or redistribute them across your other baggage as needed.
When taking size measurements of your bags, always be sure to include wheels or handles for the most accurate measurement.