Alaska Airlines Baggage Fees Policy Guide: (Checked, Carry-on) [2019]

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Alaska Airlines offers some great baggage fee policies with some very reasonable prices compared to other major airlines.

This article will show you what the Alaska Airlines baggage fees are for carry-ons, checked bags, and special items. 

I’ll also show you different ways to avoid the baggage fees with certain credit cards and memberships and what you can expect if you’re a military member.

Interested in finding out the hottest travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 


What are the Alaska Airlines baggage fees?

Alaska Airlines will allow you one free personal item and one carry on. Your first checked bag will cost $25 and your second checked bag will also cost $25.

However, there are several ways that you avoid fees with Alaska Airlines.


How can I avoid the baggage fees?

There are a few ways that you can avoid baggage fees on Alaska Airlines.

Credit cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the hottest travel rewards credit cards. It earns 3X the points on dining and travel and comes with a host of valuable benefits. One of these perks is a $300 travel credit that can be used on anything that codes as travel, including baggage fees for Spirit.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

CAPITAL ONE VENTURE benefits

One of my favorite cards to use to cover miscellaneous travel purchases is the Capital One Venture card. It’s a popular credit card that comes with an early spending bonus of $500 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

It earns 2% cash back on all purchases toward travel and the points can be used to cover virtually any travel purchase.

American Express cards

Some American Express cards like the Platinum Card and the Premier Rewards Gold Card come with airline credits that can be used on Spirit Airlines.

Baggage fee waivers

Alaska offer baggage fee waivers for credit card holders and for a number of other people.

The following people are eligible to get their first bag checked for free:

  • Eligible Alaska Airlines Visa cardholders and up to 6 other passengers traveling in the same reservation.
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Business cardholders and up to 6 passengers traveling in the same reservation
  • Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard cardholders and up to 6 passengers traveling in the same reservation.
  • Customers traveling in First Class
  • Elite level Mileage Plan™ members and companions traveling in the same reservation
  • Club 49® members traveling on a ticket that contains at least one Alaska Airlines city in Alaska
  • Customers ticketed for travel solely within the state of Alaska
  • Active duty US military personnel with valid military ID (more on that below)
  • Active duty US military dependents with valid military ID and travel orders

Alaska Airlines personal item

Alaska Airlines allows you to bring on one personal items which typically is something like a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag.

Backpacks are usually allowed so long as they are on the smaller side and able to fit beneath your seat.


Alaska Airlines carry-on 

The carry-on bag size limit for Alaska Airlines changed to 22” x 14” x 9′.’ 

All 3 measurements: length + height + width – may not add up to more than 45 inches.

Any baggage (including baggage checked free of charge) which exceeds the size or weight allowance, is subject to the additional fees outlined below.

Tip: You can download a baggage ID tag and put in your carry-on so that if it gets lost the identification and return process will be much quicker.


Alaska Airlines checked bag fees

Alaska Airlines has some of the better baggage fees for checked bags.

Compared to United’s policy, you’ll save on $10 on your second checked bag and $75 on your third checked bag. Of course, Alaska’s policy can’t compete with Southwest’s baggage policy that allows you to bring on two free checked bags. 

First bag

  • $25

Second bag

  • $25

Third bag

  • $75 each


Alaska Airlines checked bag restrictions 

Oversize or overweight baggage

  • Bags that weigh 51 to100 pounds: $75
  • Bags with linear dimension of 63 to 115 inches (linear): $75

If a checked bag falls into more than one fee category (piece number, oversize, overweight), only the higher, single fee is charged.

Maximum weight and length

No single piece of checked baggage may weigh more than 100 pounds and or exceed 115 inches. 

If you have luggage that is over that size then contact Alaska Air Cargo at 1-800-225-2752 for assistance with any items that exceed the checked baggage limitation.

During peak travel periods, Alaska may limit the number of bags that can be checked per passenger.

Below are the seasonal baggage limits.

CityDate rangeLimit
DillinghamJune 6 – June 30
Alaska Airlines flights 1-1999
no more than 2 checked bags per person
Additional baggage may be checked and accepted on a standby, space-available basis. You will be notified by Alaska Airlines return to the airport to pick up standby baggage when it arrives.
DillinghamJune 6 – August 30
PenAir flights 3124-3274
no more than 2 checked bags per person
Additional baggage may be checked and accepted on a standby, space-available basis. You will be notified by Alaska Airlines return to the airport to pick up standby baggage when it arrives.
Dutch HarborMay 27 – June 30
December 26 – January 31
Alaska Airlines flights 3296-3299
no more than 2 checked bags per person
Additional baggage may be checked and accepted on a standby, space-available basis. You will be notified by Alaska Airlines return to the airport to pick up standby baggage when it arrives.
Guadalajara
Mexico City
November 15 – January 15
Alaska Airlines flights 1-1999
no more than 2 checked bags per person
no excess, oversize, or overweight bags allowed
King SalmonJune 6 – June 30
Alaska Airlines flights 1-1999
no more than 2 checked bags per person
Additional baggage may be checked and accepted on a standby, space-available basis. You will be notified by Alaska Airlines return to the airport to pick up standby baggage when it arrives.
King SalmonJune 6 – August 30
PenAir flights 3124-3274
no more than 2 checked bags per person
Additional baggage may be checked and accepted on a standby, space-available basis. You will be notified by Alaska Airlines return to the airport to pick up standby baggage when it arrives.

Special items

Sports equipment

Each checked piece listed below is subject to the Alaska Airlines standard checked baggage fees and waivers but Alaska will waive the oversize fee or overweight fee for the items listed in this section.

  • Archery
  • Bicycles
  • Boogie boards
  • Bowling
  • Golf Clubs
  • Skis/Snowboard
  • Fishing Equipment
  • Hockey/Lacrosse Equipment
  • Pole Vaults
  • Scuba Equipment
  • Skateboards
  • Surfboards/Paddleboards
  • Windsurfing Equipment

Musical instruments

Small musical instruments may count as your one carry-on bag and may exceed the Standard carry-on dimensions, as long as they can be safely accommodated in a proper stowage compartment in the cabin of the aircraft.

If you don’t want to depart with your instrument, you can bring it on the plane with you by purchasing a seat for it.  You can review the Alaska Cabin seat baggage information for details.

Instruments are subject to the following checked-baggage service fees and overweight/oversize fees:

  • 50 lbs. or less: Standard checked baggage fees
  • 51-165 lbs: $75 (USD)
  • Up to 62″ (linear): Standard checked baggage fees
  • 63-150″ (linear)Alaska Airlines flights 1-1999 only: $75 (USD)
  • 63-115″ (linear)Alaska Airlines flights 2000-2999 and 3420-3499: $75 (USD)

Smart bags

“Smart bags” (luggage with charging devices or use a lithium battery powered electric motor) will only be accepted as a checked or carry-on bag if the lithium battery can be removed due to a potential safety hazard.
 

Alaska Airlines military baggage fees

Alaska Airlines really takes care of military members.

Active duty US military personnel with a valid military ID are allowed five bags free and $75 for each additional bag. They also may bring bags that weigh up to 70 pounds and be up to 115″  without incurring overweight or oversize fees.

Active duty US military dependents with valid military ID and travel orders are given the same benefits.


When can you check-in for Alaska Airlines?

Alaska will accept your checked bags at the airport from 4 hours before your flight time until approximately 1 hour before your flight time. View the ticket counter hours and specific Check-in cut-off time for your airport.

There are a couple of exceptions though (due to US Customs pre-clearance):

  • Vancouver (YVR) can only accept bags three hours prior to departure.
  • Calgary (YYC) can only accept bags two hours prior to departure.

Baggage for layovers

If your trip includes more than one flight on Alaska Airlines and or one of their airline partners, Alaska will check your bags to the final destination on your ticket as long as there are fewer than 12 hours between flights.

If your layover is for 12 hours or longer, you will need to claim and re-check your baggage and note that additional baggage fees may apply.


Lost or damaged baggage

If your bags are delayed at your arrival or if they are damaged, be sure to report the situation in person within 24 hours of arrival time.

If you fail to do that, you will likely be denied compensation.

You should be aware of the 20 minute baggage guarantee:

If your bags are not at baggage claim within 20 minutes of your plane’s arrival at the gate, Alaska will offer you a $25 discount code for use on a future Alaska Airlines flight, or 2,500 Alaska bonus miles.

Contact Alaska within 2 hours of your flight’s arrival for your discount code or miles.

So keep that clock tickin’ as soon as you arrive.

Read more about lost or damaged bags here. 


Final word

Alaska has one of the cheaper baggage policies for checked bags. It also has a number of ways to avoid fees with credit cards or certain membership statuses.

Cover photo by wings777 via Flickr.

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One comment

  1. I booked two award flights YVR-SFO-KOA on Alaska economy and me and my companion did not pay baggage fees when we flew 9/6 – 9/9. I had an Alaska card but it was converted in April to BOA cash rewards. Does Alaska not charge fees fro flights from Canada.

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