United Airlines Luggage Requirements for Passengers

Air travel can be stressful--long waiting lines at security, reduced inflight amenities and fees for items that at one time were free. However, with some preparation you can avoid paying extra fees at the check-in counter. United Airlines, for one, provides detailed information regarding the size, type and number of luggage items you may travel with, as well as the costs of not meeting United's requirements.


Carry-on luggage must be 9-inches-by-14-inches-by-22-inches, or 45 linear inches, or less; if your luggage exceeds these dimensions you must check it. If your checked luggage is greater than 62 linear inches, meaning that the length plus width plus height of the bag exceeds 62 inches, you will have to pay an oversized baggage fee of $100 or $200 if traveling internationally, as of October 2010. United will not transport any item exceeding 155 linear inches or having one dimension greater than 62 inches.


Each piece of luggage should weigh 50 pounds or less, or you will have to pay $100 per item if traveling within North America and $200 per item if traveling between two continents. United will not accept any baggage weighing over 100 pounds.


You may carry on one personal item, such as a purse or briefcase that you can store under the seat in front of you, and one item for stowage in the overhead bin.

For checked luggage, if you are traveling in first or business class, or if you are a member of one of United's more elite frequent flyer programs such as Global Services or Mileage Plus 1k, you may check up to two bags at no cost to you. If you are traveling coach class, you must pay $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second bag that you check--if you have more than two bags to check, you must pay $100 for each additional bag if flying within North America and $200 if flying between two continents.

Special Items

If you are bringing along sports equipment such as golf clubs or skis, or other large, bulky items, the items will be considered a piece of checked luggage and subject to the usual size and weight requirements. Certain bulky and unusual items--such as kayaks, bicycles, pets and other items requiring special care in stowing--incur an additional special handling fee that varies depending on the item.