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How Much Stuff Can I Check In - The Airline Policies

Legacy Airlines

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Airlines have decreased luggage allowances a lot over the years. I've worked for the same airline for over a dozen years and seen the permitted free allowance simply drop.

Those least affected - executive/business/first class airfares, or top tier frequent flyer members who have long enjoyed a bit more flexibility with luggage.

Now you may not be able to take a surfboard, or a larger stroller, where you once could. Unless otherwise noted, wheelchairs are checked in as free baggage, and do NOT count toward the free luggage allowance. Some airlines allow strollers for free. Most airlines, regardless of excess baggage fees that you may be willing to pay, will not accept bags that weigh more than 100lbs as checked luggage.

So what is an air traveler to do? It is a case of trying to keep up with the tightening luggage policies of the airlines. The following policies are for passengers traveling in economy class, and are not top tier frequent flyer members:

American Airlines


United Airlines


Delta Airlines


Continental Airlines


US Airways


Alaska Airlines


Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines has merged with Delta Airlines and shares the same policies regarding luggage.

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