How your baggage fee is calculated

The fees airlines charge for baggage and how to calculate them.

The fees airlines charge for baggage and how to calculate them.

How Your Baggage Fee is Calculated

By Scott Keyes, Founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights

When you’re booking a flight, the last thing you want to do is spend more on checked baggage than you did on your ticket. But the reality is that airlines charge all sorts of fees for checked bags and carry-ons, and most people don’t know how to calculate them.

Because I’m a professional traveler who goes through hundreds of airline bookings each year, I’ve developed a good sense for how much it’s going to cost me to check my bags when I travel. And below are all the rules I use to make sure that my bag fees are as low as possible.

How Much Does it Cost?

This will vary by airline and route, but generally speaking one way domestic flights cost between $25 and $50 per bag. International flights vary more widely, but can be in the same range or even higher depending on which region you’re flying in. In Asia, for example, many carriers don’t have any checked bag fees at all!

To check bag prices on a specific route, check out KAYAK’s baggage fee tool. Alternatively (or in addition), look up your airline’s baggage policy online since many airlines allow you

Today, I’m going to go into how your baggage fee is calculated and why it’s so expensive.

So first you have to understand how airlines determine the price. It all comes down to the weight of your bag. There are two ways that airlines can calculate this weight: by piece or by weight.

By piece is pretty simple, you just add up the number of bags that you have. A lot of people think this is how baggage fees work, but it’s not. The only airline that does it this way is Southwest Airlines and they don’t charge you for your first two bags! Pretty cool huh?

The other way is by weight and most airlines use this system. So when you check in at the airport, they will put your bag in a scale and determine how much it weighs – then charge you accordingly.

They will usually give you a range of different weights (ex: 0-50 pounds) that correlate with a certain price. If your bag falls within one of these ranges, then that will be the price you pay for your baggage fee!

It would be nice if you could always take your bag for free, but that’s not always the case. This blog is about how baggage fees are calculated and what you can do about them.

The cost of taking a bag varies by airline and by flight. Some airlines allow you to take bags for free; others charge a fee for each bag or per piece of luggage. If your bags don’t fit in the overhead bins or under your seat, you’ll have to pay a fee to check them.

Some airlines charge per bag and piece of luggage, so make sure to check with the airline you’re flying with to see what they offer. If you need to know more about baggage fees, check out our Baggage Fee Guide below.

Baggage fees can be very confusing. The fees vary by airline and by flight and most airlines don’t disclose them until after you’ve bought your ticket. This blog is here to help clarify the baggage fee process and give you some tips on how to avoid paying too much for checked bags

Each airline has different rules and fees for baggage. As a frequent traveler, it’s important to know what those are. There are two types of fees: checked baggage fees and carry-on fees.

Checked Baggage Fees: These are fees that you pay when you check a bag. Airlines have different rules about the size, weight and number of bags you can check in. Most airlines allow up to 50 lbs per bag, but some allow more or less. Some airlines don’t charge for the first checked bag, while others charge for all checked bags.

Carry-on Fees: These are fees that you pay if you bring your bag on the plane with you. Not all airlines charge these fees, but they can vary greatly depending on the airline and the destination.*

Airlines charge a fee to check baggage. In order to know what the fee is, you have to know the weight of your bags. Here are some methods for getting that weight:

Personal Scale: This is the most accurate method, but can be inconvenient if you’re traveling with others. If you’re checking only one bag, a personal scale can be a good option.

Airline Scale: The airline also has scales, but they’re not always available when you need them. If you’re checking in online and going straight through security without having to stop at the airline’s ticketing counter before going through security, there won’t be any way for you to weigh your bags before arriving at the gate.

Luggage with built-in scale: You can buy luggage with an integrated digital scale. This allows you to get an accurate reading of your bag’s weight without having to use an external scale. It’s important to note that these scales don’t usually show you the exact weight of your bag; instead they show a range such as “2-3 kg” or “4-5 kg”. The exact weight will depend on how much stuff is inside your bag.

Estimate based on previous flights: If you’ve previously flown with the same bag on

Scott’s Cheap Flights is a newsletter and flight-booking service that sends subscribers alerts for inexpensive international flights. The company’s founder, Scott Keyes, has traveled to more than 50 countries, including two trips to Antarctica, on the cheap. He shared some of his best tips for booking affordable flights with Business Insider.

Scott’s Cheap Flights offers two types of emails: a free newsletter that goes out several times a week with flight deals, and a paid membership starting at $49 per year that includes access to “error fares,” which are airfares so low they are often mistakenly published by airlines and their partners.

To find these fares, Keyes relies on a variety of tools and websites. He uses Google Flights’ price tracking tool to alert him when the price of a specific route changes; he checks airline websites for sales; and he monitors fare drops with alerts from sites like or

But Keyes’ favorite flight-booking hack is actually free (though it does take some effort). He recommends searching for tickets on an airline’s website one-by-one, rather than using an aggregator like Kayak or Google Flights.

Scott’s Cheap Flights sent me an email

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