How Major Airlines Compare on Fees, Perks

By Rose ShillingLifestyle and BudgetBankrate.com

Maybe you want to deplane quickly on your next flight. Or check your one piece of luggage for free. Or get a roomy row where your knees don't hit the seat in front of you. With airlines charging for these services individually, finding the best deal on a flight can prove complicated. Bankrate.com has combed the websites of some of the major U.S. airlines to help you compare prices on fees and find all the available discounts.

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Checked bags within U.S.

  • First bag $25 Second bag $35 Third bag $125   Checked bags (international) First bag Free ($25 to Canada) Second bag $35-$100 Third bag $75-$285   Overweight bag Charges start 50+ lbs $100   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $200   United   Checked bags within U.S. First bag $25* Second bag $35 Third bag $125   Checked bags (international) First bag Free* ($25 to Canada) Second bag Free-$100 Third bag $125-$200   Overweight bag Charges start 50+ lbs $100-$200   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $200 *Customers must search for baggage fees by destination. These fees reflect the results of searches on popular destinations.   Checked bags within U.S. First bag Free Second bag Free Third bag $75   Checked bags (international -- through AirTran*) First bag $25 Second bag $35 Third bag $75   Overweight bag Charges start 50+ lbs $75   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $75 *AirTran and Southwest are merging, and AirTran offers the company's limited international flights.   Checked bags within U.S. First bag $25 Second bag $35 Third bag $150   Checked bags (international) First bag Free ($25 to Canada) Second bag $35-$100 Third bag $75-$200   Overweight bag Charges start 50+ lbs $100   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $200   US Airways   Checked bags within U.S. First bag $25 Second bag $35 Third bag $125   Checked bags (international) First bag Free-$25 Second bag Free-$100 Third bag $85-$200   Overweight bag Charges start 50+ lbs $90-$175   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $175   Checked bags within U.S. First bag Free Second bag $40 Third bag $75   Checked bags (international)* First bag Free Second bag $40 Third bag $75   Overweight bag Charges start 50+ lbs $50-$100   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $75 *Some destinations limited to two bags.   Alaska Airlines   Checked bags within U.S. First bag $25 Second bag $25 Third bag $75   Checked bags (international) First bag Free to $25 Second bag $25 Third bag $75   Overweight bag Charges start 50+ lbs $75   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $75   Checked bags within U.S.* Carry on bag $35 First bag $30 Second bag $40 Third bag $85   Checked bags (international)* Carry on bag $35 First bag $30 Second bag $40 # limited on some flights   Overweight bag 41-50 lbs $25 51-70 lbs $50 71-99 lbs $100   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $100-$150 *Pay for baggage fees online at booking. Baggage fees go up when paying for bags at online check-in or at the airport, reaching $100 to check a bag at the gate. Annual membership to $9 Fare Club for $59.95 provides access to discounted fares and reduced baggage fees, typically about $10 off per bag.   Checked bags within U.S. Oversized carry on $35 First bag $20* Second bag $30 Third bag $75   Checked bags (international) Oversized carry on $35 First bag $20* Second bag $30 Third bag $75   Overweight bag Charges start 50+ lbs $75   Oversized bag Allowed dimensions vary $75 *Baggage fee is $20 online, $25 when paid at airport. Rate applies to economy fares only.   Hawaiian Airlines   Checked bags within U.S. North America-Hawaii routes* First bag $25 Second bag $35 Third bag $100   Checked bags (international) For flights starting in Hawaii First bag Free Second bag Free Third bag $150   Overweight bag** Charges start 50+ lbs $50- $200   Oversized bag** Allowed dimensions vary $100 *Many rates are cheaper for travel between islands. ** Hawaii-North America routes.
  • Preferred seats: Typically aisle/window near front, bulkheads, exit rows. Comfort seating: May include extra legroom, seat location, more recline   Preferred seats $9-$59 Comfort seating $9 to $99, also includes priority boarding   United Airlines   Preferred seats United offers preferred seats and extra legroom under one fee called Economy Plus. Comfort seating Prices shown at checkout; flight from Chicago to San Francisco showed $83 to $109 fee each way; U.S. subscription: $499 Preferred seats Not found on website Comfort seating Not found on website Preferred seats $4-$99 Comfort seating $8-$159   US Airways   Preferred seats Prices shown at checkout; flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix showed seats for $89 Comfort seating Not found on website Preferred seats JetBlue offers seats in preferred locations under its comfort seating fee called Even More Space. Comfort seating Price varies by route; includes priority boarding and access to faster security lanes   Alaska Airlines   Preferred seats Certain high-mileage fliers and people with some refundable fares can request exit rows. Comfort seating Not found on website Preferred seats Choose your own seat costs $1 to $50 Comfort seating Big seats in front are wider with additional legroom and no middle seat. $12 to $150 Preferred seats Frontier offers different fare classes, with the top two tiers receiving the best seats. Comfort seating Stretch seating with extra legroom toward the front or in the exit row goes to top-priced fares or people who buy an upgrade, starting at $15.   Hawaiian Airlines   Preferred seats $40; $75 for HNL-JFK includes priority boarding Comfort seating $60; $100 to/from New York comes with priority boarding, free snacks, in-seat entertainment, and pillow and blanket
  • Personal travel 2 bags free Active duty travel 4 bags free   United Airlines   Personal travel 3 bags free Official business travel 4 bags free Dependents' bags on travel orders Free Active duty travel 3rd+ bag free Personal travel or on order 2 bags free Dependents' bags on travel orders Free   US Airways   Personal travel 2 bags free For travel on orders 4 bags free Dependents' bags on travel orders Free For travel on orders 5 bags free If wearing uniform 5 bags free   Alaska Airlines   For active duty military 5 bags free Dependents' bags on travel orders Free Not found on website For active duty personnel with ID. Doesn't cover travel companions; priority boarding if wearing uniform. Free bags   Hawaiian Airlines   For personal travel 2 bags free For travel on orders 4 bags free Dependents' bags on travel orders Free
  • Loyalty program breaks on fees for high-mileage fliers; fee discounts typically start at 25,000 miles a year.   SkyMiles Eligible for preferred seats, upgrades Discounted or free comfort seating Free checked baggage   United Airlines   MileagePlus Eligible for preferred seats, comfort seating Free checked baggage Priority baggage handling   Rapid Rewards Free drink coupons 35,000 miles gets priority check-in/security 70,000 miles also free Wi-Fi   AAdvantage* Priority boarding 2-3 free checked bags Eligible for preferred seats, comfort seating Free food at 100,000 miles *American and US Airways are merging, and customers can earn perks through both loyalty programs.   US Airways   Dividend Miles Eligible for preferred seats, priority check-in, early boarding, free checked baggage, upgrades   TrueBlue No breaks on fees found on website   Alaska Airlines   Mileage Plan Eligible for free checked baggage, faster security, preferred seats Free premium drink and entertainment player at 75,000 miles   FREE SPIRIT No breaks on fees found on website   EarlyReturns Eligible for priority check-in, boarding and security lines, comfort/preferred seating   Hawaiian Airlines   HawaiianMiles Eligible for free baggage, priority boarding, preferred seats, discounted upgrades, lounge access
  • Credit card breaks on fees   First bag free, also for companions Priority boarding 20% off food, drinks, entertainment Discounts on Sky Club   United Airlines   First bag free, also for one companion Priority boarding Two one-time passes each year for United Club None found on website First bag free, also for four companions Priority boarding 25% off food, drinks, headsets   US Airways   Check in at first class counter Group 2 boarding One day pass a year for US Airways Club 50% off movies, food, alcoholic drinks, pillows and blankets   Alaska Airlines   None found on website Priority boarding at some airports Not found on website   Hawaiian Airlines   Free access to $6.99 TV and More package on seatback screens
  • Priority boarding $10   United Airlines   Priority boarding Starts at $9, includes priority check-in, security lines; flight from Atlanta to Chicago showed $38 fee round trip Priority boarding Buy upgraded boarding for $40 per flight segment; EarlyBird Check-In $12.50 per person gives better chance of earlier boarding group Priority boarding $9 to $40; customers without overhead luggage board after priority boarding   US Airways   Priority boarding Starts at $10 each way, including priority check-in and security lines, where available Priority boarding JetBlue's comfort seating fee offers priority boarding.   Alaska Airlines   Priority boarding Only found for high-mileage fliers on website. Priority boarding Details not found on website Priority boarding People who buy stretch seating board among the first group.   Hawaiian Airlines   Priority boarding Available for frequent flier club members and those buying preferred seats or comfort seats
  • Children traveling alone: $100   United Airlines   Children traveling alone: $150 Children traveling alone: $50 Children traveling alone: $100   US Airways   Children traveling alone: $100; two checked bags free Children traveling alone: $100   Alaska Airlines   Children traveling alone: $25 nonstop flights; $50 connecting flights; no fee for children with high mileage levels Children traveling alone: $100 includes snack and drink Children traveling alone: $100 for most fares; price starts March 24; no fee for children with high mileage levels   Hawaiian Airlines   Children traveling alone: $100, up to two children from one family can be covered by one fee
  • Checked pets $200 Cargo pets $178-$1,220.42 Cabin pets $125   United Airlines   Checked pets -- Cargo pets $75-$659 Cabin pets $125 Checked pets Not offered Cargo pets Not offered Cabin pets $95 Checked pets $175 Cargo pets -- Cabin pets $125   US Airways   Checked/cargo pets $150- $175 Cabin pets $125 Checked/cargo pets Not offered Cabin pets $100   Alaska Airlines   Checked/cargo pets $100 each way; not allowed some dates Cabin pets $100 Checked/cargo pets Not offered Cabin pets $100 Checked/cargo pets Not offered Cabin pets $75-$125   Hawaiian Airlines   Checked pets $22 Cabin pets $175, limited availability
  •   Cheapest snack to buy Pringles $3   Drinks Beer $6 Standout menu item* Corned beef sandwich on pretzel roll $8.50   United   Cheapest snack to buy Pringles $3.29   Drinks Beer Price not found on website Standout menu item* Artisan cheese plate with crackers, fruit spread, grapes and chocolate $7.99   Cheapest snack to buy No food; Vitaminwater $3   Drinks Beer $5 Standout menu item* Not available --   Cheapest snack to buy Caramel sea salt brownie $3.29   Drinks Beer $6 Standout menu item* Caramel pink sea salt brownie $3.29   US Airways   Cheapest snack to buy Pringles or almond MandM's $3   Drinks Beer $7 Standout menu item* Chicken harvest salad $8.59   Cheapest snack to buy Beef jerky or nut mix $4.50   Drinks Alcoholic drinks $6-$9 Standout menu item* Beef up box: salami, peppercorn cheese cup, almond bar, pita chips, crackers $6   Alaska Airlines   Cheapest snack to buy Kids' pack includes Pirate's Booty, turkey stick, applesauce. $6   Drinks Beer $6 Standout menu item* Hawaiian pancakes, on flights to/from Hawaii $6   Cheapest snack to buy MandM Cookies, Pringles, muffin $2.50   Drinks Water (no free drinks) $3 Beer $7 Standout menu item* 5-hour Energy drink $4.99   Cheapest snack to buy Apple pie Larabar $1.99   Drinks Water; no free drinks in lower-cost seats $1.99 Beer $4.99-6.49 Standout menu item* Kashi oatmeal $2.99   Hawaiian Airlines   Cheapest snack to buy Free meals offered on many flights; snacks and food for purchase $3   Drinks Beer $6.50-$7.50 Standout menu item* Hawaiian barbecue chicken with wine and macadamia nut chocolate Free *Standout menu item (availability varies by routes, flight times). <
  •   Movie options and headset Movies on demand on in-cabin screens $6 Headset $6   Internet, Phone Passes starting price $1.95 24-hour pass $14 One-month pass $39.95 Annual pass $469.95   United   Movie options and headset Streaming/on demand Price not found DirecTV $5.99+ Headset Free   Internet, Phone Per flight segment $4.99+   Movie options and headset Streaming movie $5 Headset Not offered   Internet, Phone Inflight Wi-Fi $8   Movie options and headset Streaming movie on own device $3.99 In-cabin movies also offered -- Headset $6   Internet, Phone 30 minutes on phone $2 30 minutes on laptop $3-$4.50 One flight segment on laptop $4.95-$21.95 Day pass $14-$21.95   US Airways   Movie options and headset In-cabin movies offered -- For movies on long flights Free   Internet, Phone Single flight $4.95+ All-day pass $14 Monthly pass $39.95   Movie options and headset In-cabin movies $5.99 Headset $3   Internet, Phone Basic Web browsing (through June 2014) Free High-bandwidth access $9/hour   Alaska Airlines   Movie options and headset Reservation for an airline entertainment device $8-$10 One set comes with reserved entertainment player   Internet, Phone Starting price $1.95 All-day pass $14.95 Monthly pass $39.95   Movie options and headset Not found on website.   Headset Not found on website. Internet, Phone Not offered.   Movie options and headset Access in cabin to DirecTV movies $3.99-$7.99 Headset info not found on website.   Internet, Phone Varies by flight; not detailed on website -- Frequent fliers can buy monthly pass $24.95   Hawaiian Airlines   Movie options and headset Seatback screen $4.99-$7.99 Overhead movies in some planes Free Tablet rental $15-$17   Headset Two headsets come with tablet rental; souvenir headset available to buy, no price found Internet, Phone Not offered
  •   Blanket and pillow Not found on website   United Airlines   Blanket and pillow Available on international flights; not specified on website whether there is a cost   Blanket and pillow None found on website   Blanket and pillow None found on website   US Airways   Blanket and pillow $8 for blanket.   Blanket and pillow $7 for bag with fleece blanket, inflatable neck pillow, earplugs and eyeshades   Alaska Airlines   Blanket and pillow $5 to $6, sold separately   Blanket and pillow Not offered   Blanket and pillow Not found on website   Hawaiian Airlines   Blanket and pillow Free pillow and blanket comes with comfort seats

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