Etihad Baggage Fees Guide (Carry-on, Checked) [2021]

Etihad turned 16 years old and has challenged the aviation market with its onboard product innovations and airport lounges. Daniel has enjoyed Etihad to the fullest multiple times checking in bags. So, knowing Etihad baggage allowance and excess fees is key to surviving an around the world trip.

In this article, I will go over Etihad allowances for carry-on and checked baggage. Then I go over Etihad’s excess baggage fees calculator, sports equipment, and pet policy.

What are Etihad baggage fees?

For every class you fly with Etihad, you get a free checked baggage allowance in any class, besides a few select routes under the fare Economy Deal. Carry-on and personal items are also included in every fare.

Etihad free baggage allowance is somewhat different though. Each passenger has a max weight, but can check-in multiple bags if the total of their multiple bags are under the max weight.

I explain more about Etihad baggage fees down below.

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How can I avoid Etihad baggage fees?

There are a few ways to avoid Etihad baggage fees.

Fare options

All fares besides a select few routes have a free baggage allowance. Here are the routes and the specific fare that don’t offer a free baggage allowance:

  • Economy Deal
    • China to/from Japan
    • UAE to/from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, and Bahrain
    • UAE to/from Egypt

If you do fly any of those routes above, Economy Saver, Class, Flex, Business, and First will all offer a free baggage allowance. All other routes that aren’t in the list above will have a free baggage allowance.

Luckily, if you are connecting onto one of the routes above from another route that isn’t listed above, you will have a free baggage allowance.

Elite status

Like any other good airline, there should be a loyalty program that offers elite status for their most frequent flyers.

Etihad has Guest Silver, Gold, and Platinum tiers. Each tier holds benefits for elites, like priority services, lounge access, and baggage allowance.

All tiers offer 32kg/70lbs for flights to/from the US and Canada. For all routes Platinum gets 20kg/40lbs, Gold gets 15kg/33lbs, and Silver gets 10kg/22lbs.

Credit Cards

You can utilize individual credit cards to reduce or eliminate your baggage fees on Etihad.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the hottest travel rewards credit cards. You should get it because of the 3X points on dining and travel. It has many valuable benefits, one of which is an annual $300 travel credit that can be used on anything that codes as travel, including your baggage fees.

So all you have to do is use the card to pay for baggage, and any remaining travel credit will be used erasing the charges you made with Etihad.

Plus, you also have travel insurance built into the card, which includes baggage insurance.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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% cashback on everything travel. The cashback you earn can erase anything that codes for travel like airfare, baggage, lodging, car rental, etc. For example, if I purchased an Etihad ticket or paid my baggage fees with this card, I can erase the charges from my statement with the cashback.

Etihad personal item and carry-on restrictions

When flying Etihad, Economy is allowed to bring one personal item and one carry-on bag. For Business, First, and the Residence you are allowed one personal item and two carry-on bags.

Personal item

No matter what class you are seated in, you are able to bring on board one personal item. Each personal item cannot exceed 5kg/11lbs and 40 x 30 x 15cm / 15 x 11.5 x 6in.

So, if you bring a personal item onboard your Etihad flight, you must make sure it can fit under the seat in front of you. If you are seated in business class, exit row, or a bulkhead seat, you can put your personal item in the overhead bin, but do note that space can be limited. Some examples of personal items would be a briefcase, purse, laptop, travel blanket, and a small backpack.


Each passenger seated in Economy can bring on board one carry-on bag. If you are seated in Business, First, or the Residence, you can bring on two carry-on bags.

In Economy, your carry-on bag cannot exceed 7kg/15lbs and 50 x 40 x 25cm / 19 x 15 x 9.5in. Business, First, and the Residence carry-on bags cannot exceed 12kg and 50 x 40 x 25cm / 19 x 15 x 9.5in.

Most of the time, Etihad is flexible with the carry-on weight, but you must be able to put your own baggage in the overhead bins without any help.

For your carry-on item, you can bring a suitcase, bag, garment bag, carrycot, pushchair, or child seat for infants, and any required mobility aids, such as a wheelchair. Some items will be gate checked for free. As long as it doesn’t exceed the dimensions above, you will be fine.


The same TSA standards apply to Etihad flights arriving or departing from the US. You can review a list provided by the TSA of permitted and prohibited items, which may be included in carry-on baggage, including the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.

Etihad checked baggage fees

Etihad is one of the few airlines that have almost no baggage fees. Unfortunately, a few Economy Deal fare routes have baggage fees.

Here are the routes for Economy Deal that don’t include a baggage allowance:

  • China to/from Japan
  • UAE to/from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, and Bahrain
  • UAE to/from Egypt

The way that Etihad publishes fees is ever-changing. Usually changing yearly. So, the fees you might see below are subject to change. You can use the Etihad baggage calculator to find information about baggage for each route in their network. 

The fees for Economy Deal fare bags are as follows:

All prices below are with a 20% online discount. The 20% discount only works 30 hours or more prior to departure.

  • 10kg/22lbs: $37
  • 20kg/44lbs: $55
  • 25kg/55lbs: $138
  • 30kg/66lbs: $221
  • 35kg/77lbs: $304

On Economy Deal fares, you can only add up to 35kg/77lbs per passenger. You should also remember that Etihad only counts the total combined weight of all of your bags. So, you could have five bags each weighing 7kg for a total of 35kg.

If you are flying other routes or classes, fees will differ. Each route will be different for fees along with slightly different allowances.

Down below you can see examples of checked baggage allowances and fees associated with adding extra weight to your already existing baggage allowance.

All prices below are for any class with a 20% online discount. The 20% discount only works 30 hours or more prior to departure.

Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Los Angeles (LAX)

  • Economy Deal, Saver, Classic and, Flex: two bags 23kg/50lbs 
  • Business and First Class: two bags 32kg/70lbs each bag.
    • Extra baggage (maximum checked baggage is six bags):
1 bag2 bags3 bags4 bags5 bags6 bags

Chicago (ORD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)

  • Economy Deal, Saver, Classic and, Flex: two bags 23kg/50lbs 
  • Business and First Class: two bags 32kg/70lbs each bag.
    • Extra baggage (maximum checked baggage is six bags):
1 bag2 bags3 bags4 bags5 bags6 bags

Toronto (YYZ) – Tokyo (NRT)

  • Economy Deal, Saver, Classic and, Flex: two bags 23kg/50lbs 
  • Business and First Class: two bags 32kg/70lbs each bag.
    • Extra baggage (maximum checked baggage is six bags):
1 bag2 bags3 bags4 bags5 bags6 bags

Chennai (MAA) – Manchester (MAN)

  • Economy Deal, Saver, Classic and, Flex: 40kg/88lbs 
  • Business Class: 50kg/110lbs
  • First Class: 60kg/132lbs
    • Additional weight:

Hong Kong, HKG – Manchester, MAN

  • Economy Deal, Saver, and Classic Class: 30kg/66lbs
  • Economy Flex Class: 35kg/77lbs
  • Business Class: 40kg/88lbs
  • First Class: 50kg/110lbs
    • Additional weight:

I would like to note that these are just examples. Each route will differ and for the most up to date information, you must use the Etihad baggage calculator.

If you wish to add luggage at the airport, you must add 20% on to any of the prices you see online.

When comparing other international airlines, United charges the following rates for checked baggage:

  • $35 for the first checked bag
  • $45 for the second checked bag
  • $150 to $200 for the third checked bag

Etihad checked baggage allowance

Checking a bag onto an Etihad flight shouldn’t exceed 72 x 90 x 45cm / 28 x 35 x 17.7in. If you exceed those dimensions, you will be subject to an oversize fee.

Etihad doesn’t have the most straight forward checked baggage weight allowance. No single bag cannot exceed 32kg/70lbs. However, your free baggage allowance can range from 23kg/50lbs to 60kg/132lbs for a total combined weight. I strongly suggest checking your specific route baggage allowance here.

All elite status tiers offer 32kg/70lbs for flights to/from the US and Canada. For all routes Platinum gets 20kg/40lbs, Gold gets 15kg/33lbs, and Silver gets 10kg/22lbs.

Etihad excess baggage fees

Etihad excess baggage fees are slightly more straight forward.

Overweight bag fee for Etihad

Etihad will never accept an individual bag over 32kg/70lbs, but if your total combined baggage allowance is less than 32kg/70lbs you will have the ability to add weight.

Again this weight you can add depends on your route. Adding a few kilos/pounds can be as little as $40, but could be as expensive as $500+ for more than a few kilos/pounds.

You can check out the examples above or check the Etihad baggage calculator.

Oversized bag fee for Etihad

If you have a bag over the standard baggage dimensions of 72 x 90 x 45cm / 28 x 35 x 17.7in, then you will be subject to an oversized baggage fee. The fees are:

  • Middle East – Middle East/Indian Subcontinent: $40
  • Beijing (PEK) – Nagoya (NGO): $40
  • All other routes: $60

Sports equipment on Etihad

Etihad doesn’t charge for checking sports equipment as long as the weight is within your free checked baggage allowance.

The only requirement that Etihad has is for your checked sports equipment to be less than the maximum dimension of 300cm/118in.

In fact, Etihad doesn’t charge any oversized baggage fee for approved sports equipment like:

  • Bikes
  • Scuba diving equipment
  • Skis
  • Snowboards
  • Poles
  • Ski boots
  • Surfboards
  • Golf bags

You just have to make sure your checked sports equipment doesn’t exceed 32kg/70lbs as any heavier will be denied.

Musical instruments traveling Etihad

You have three choices for your musical instrument to fly with you on Etihad: carry-on, purchasing an extra seat, or checked.

As a carry-on, musical instruments will be free and count towards your free carry-on allowance. It must fit in the overhead bin by not exceeding 50 x 40 x 25cm / 19 x 15 x 9.5in.

If your musical instrument cannot fit in the overhead bin, you can purchase it a seat. You will have to contact Etihad prior to your flight and it will be based on availability.

If you want to check your musical instrument as checked baggage, it can count towards your free baggage allowance, but not exceed a maximum dimension of 300cm/118in. Again, you cannot go beyond the 32kg/70lbs weight limit.

I highly recommend traveling with your musical instrument in a hard-shell protective case. The stronger it is, the less likely your musical instrument will be damaged during your travels.

You can call Etihad at +1 877 690 0767.

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Etihad military baggage policy

Since Etihad is an international airline, they don’t give US military personnel or veterans any benefits for flying their metal. Therefore, Etihad won’t allow US military personnel to check bags for free or other benefits. Only US airlines will give benefits to US military personnel and veterans.

If you want to learn more about military benefits for other airlines, I suggest reading our master article about military benefits when flying.

Etihad pet policy

Etihad probably has the most unique pet policy I have ever seen. While Etihad allows any type of animal or pet to ride in the cargo hold, there is only one animal allowed to ride in the cabin and it’s the Falcon.

Yep, you heard it right, Falcons can join you in the cabin. Why are Falcons allowed to ride in the cabin? Well in Emirati culture, Falcons are part of traditional culture to deliver prey without killing it part of both religion and tradition. Typically elites travel with Falcons as they are a must cherished animal in the Middle East.

Falcons can fly-in any seat. In Economy, one Falcon per seat. In Business or First Class, two falcons are allowed per seat. Here are the prices:

All cabins:

  • To/from USA and Canada: $360
  • Short haul: $180
  • Medium haul: $250
  • Long haul: $320
  • Ultra-long haul: $390

What if my bags are lost or damaged by Etihad?

Etihad has a simple online webpage that allows you to submit and track delayed baggage. On the same webpage, you can also submit damage reports. You can basically do anything.

If you are still at the airport, I highly recommend visiting the baggage service desk at baggage claim to submit any claims before you leave.

You can visit Etihad’s helpful page here.

Etihad lost and found

Losing or forgetting something on the aircraft happens to the best of us. Etihad suggests speaking to someone at the airport before you leave. A staff member might be able to grab it for you from the aircraft if you speak up soon enough.

However, if you need to contact Etihad lost and found, you can read more here, directing you to the airport that will handle lost and found for Etihad.

When can I check-in bags for Etihad?

Check-in and bag drop off close 60 minutes prior to all flights. Anytime closer to departure is not possible.

You can check-in as early as three hours for outpost stations or all day at Auh Dhabi (AUH).

Remember to arrive at your gate 30 minutes prior to departure, or you might not be allowed onto the aircraft.

Final word

I do hope this article helps you understand Etihad baggage fees and allowance. I know Etihad has a complicated baggage allowance chart, but with their baggage calculator tool, it will help relieve some of the headaches.

This article was originally published by Steve Smith.

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