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Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii’s state carrier as they connect every island to the rest of the US and international destinations. Yet, being based out of Hawaii doesn’t make their baggage fees any cheaper than the rest of US carriers.
In this article, I’ll discuss the specific Hawaiian Airlines baggage restrictions and fees for carry-ons, checked bags, and international flights, while showing you some ways to avoid these fees. I’ll also talk about special circumstances such as for overweight baggage, pet policies, and military privileges.
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What are Hawaiian Airlines baggage fees?
Hawaiian Airlines has a good international baggage allowance, but for domestic flights, Hawaiian airlines charges for each bag like almost every other US carrier. Below I will go into details outlining the allowance and fees for both carry-on and checked baggage.
Can I avoid Hawaiian Airlines baggage fees?
You can avoid Hawaiian Airlines baggage fees in several ways.
Premier Club Membership
Premier Club is a unique way to get elite style benefits via a paid membership. If you are a Premier Club member, you get benefits like two bags for free, better seat selection, Premier Club check-in, Premier Club Access, priority security lanes, and priority baggage handling. Here are the membership prices:
- 1st membership annual fee: $299 or 40,000 HawaiianMiles
- Renewing membership annual fee: $249.00 or 35,000 HawaiianMiles
This can be huge if you are a family flying domestic flights frequently saving money on bags and receiving priority services along with lounge access.
You could save up to $70 for two bags each way for flying domestic. You would just have to fly 5 flights between the Hawaiian islands and North America for the membership to pay for itself with free baggage.
Hawaiian Airlines has 2 elite statuses called Pualani Elite status. Each one offers benefits like free baggage or priority services.
- 30 segments or 20,000 flight miles
- 2 bags for free
- 60 segments or 40,000 flight miles
- 3 bags for free
As Hawaiian is not part of any alliance, you won’t be able to get free bags while having another airlines status.
With any airline loyalty program, elites are given special benefits as thanks. To some, benefits like priority services and lounge access are very valuable, but a free baggage allowance is just icing on the cake and can save money if you aren’t flying in the premium cabin.
The only fare type that includes bags would be first class. No true economy fare. Thus, if you wanted bags included in your ticket price, you must be flying in first class.
All classes and cabins on Hawaiian Airlines will receive a free baggage allowance for international destinations. Some destinations like Japan, Korea, and China will receive extra baggage allowance for premium cabin.
Hawaiian has one co-branded credit card via a major nationwide bank, but they also have a few cards issued by a local Hawaiian bank. In this article, we will go over the Barclay issued Hawaiian card as more people can access this card.
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard
- 3x HawaiianMiles for purchases made directly with Hawaiian Airlines
- 2x HawaiianMiles on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases
- 1x HawaiianMiles on everything else
- First checked bag free (only for cardmember)
- Share Miles without fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- $99 annual fee (waived the first year)
This card has two unique features for frequent Hawaiian travelers, Share Miles without a fee and first checked bag is free. Those two features can be very unique in their own right.
Share Miles is a program where you can transfer miles to another person, friend or family member, without a fee. That means, it’s easier to combine miles for an aspirational award. Then the first checked bag is free when holding this card for the primary cardholder.
Plus, this card comes with a decent bonus offer of 60,000 bonus HawaiianMiles after you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days.
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. I would personally use this card to purchase airfare over other cards as it offers travel insurance on bookings for airfare and hotels made with this card. One of these perks is a $300 travel credit that can be used on anything that codes as travel, including your baggage fees.
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 all purchases toward travel, and the points can be used to cover virtually any travel purchase.
Hawaiian Airlines personal item and carry-on restrictions
No matter what seat you are sitting in, you are allowed one free personal item and one free carry-on bag.
You can bring one personal item for free on any Hawaiian Airlines flight in any cabin.
Surprisingly Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t give any dimensions for maximum personal item size, but they have an official rule called Rule 17.A.2 for personal items.
- Your personal item must be small enough to fit safely under the seat in front of you
The industry standard for maximum dimensions for a bag to fit under the seat in front of you would be 18 x 14 x 8 inches. Some examples of personal items would be a purse, briefcase, laptop computer, or small backpack.
You can bring one carry-on bag for free on any Hawaiian Airlines flight in any cabin.
- 45 linear inches max (must fit in the overhead bin or under your seat in front of you)
- 22 x 12 x 9 inches
- 25 lbs max
Hawaiian Airlines allows soft-sided garment bags or other large objects without any max size, but subject to space availability.
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.
Musical instruments are also considered a carry-on item and must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you, no matter what size.
The same TSA standards apply to Hawaiian Airlines flights operating within the US, arriving, and 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.
Hawaiian Airlines checked baggage fees
The prices below are for one-way Hawaiian Airlines flights, not roundtrip, and must not exceed 62 in (157 cm) in overall dimensions. Here are all the fees for all the destinations and regions below:
|Neighbor Island||North America||International and first class|
Out of all the US carriers, Hawaiian is one of the best when it comes to the least cumbersome fee structure to the destinations they fly. Of course, it’s not Southwest simplicity, but Hawaiian at least doesn’t confuse passengers as much as other airlines like AA.
Remember, if you have status, you don’t have to pay these fees, even when you are flying on a Basic Economy ticket.
In comparison to other major airlines that fly to Hawaii a lot, United charges the following rates:
- $35 for the first checked bag
- $45 for the second checked bag
- $150 to $200 for the third checked bag ($200 for some international flights)
If you want all the tips on how to deal with checked baggage and how to avoid fees, be sure to check out the ultimate guide to checked luggage here.
Hawaiian Airlines checked baggage allowance
Hawaiian Airlines checked bags must not exceed 62″ in overall dimensions and exceed 50 lbs if you are flying main cabin or premium cabin (business/first class).
For flights to/from Australia and New Zealand and you’re seated in the main cabin or business class, bags can be up to 70 lbs in max weight. For flights to/from Japan and Korea and you’re seated in business class, bags can be up to 70 lbs in max weight.
Hawaiian Airlines excess checked baggage fee
Hawaiian Airlines overweight bags and/or bags that exceed the dimensions will receive an extra fee, as explained below.
Bags flying on Hawaiian Airlines larger than 62 inches overall dimensions will have an oversize fee. Hawaiian Airlines won’t accept checked bags over 80 inches overall dimensions. Prices below are for each way that the bag is between the overall dimensions of 62-80 inches.
- Neighbor Island: $35
- North America: $100
- International: $150
Hawaiian Airlines won’t accept checked bags over 100 lbs.
|51-70 lbs||71-100 lbs|
|Australia or New Zealand||$0||Not accepted|
|Japan or Korea||$50 (Business class: $0)||$400|
Remember these fees will go on top of the regular checked luggage fees.
If you want all the tips on how to deal with checked baggage and how to avoid fees, be sure to check out the ultimate guide to checked luggage here.
Hawaiian Airlines sport baggage
Sport bags or equipment are considered special items on Hawaiian Airlines. Some are exempt from the allowance stated above, but most will have to comply with the rules or have fees to be checked. Rule 18.D explain special items with the most up-to-date information from Hawaiian Airlines.
- Baseball bats
- Camping equipment
- Curling equipment
- Fencing equipment
- Golf clubs
- Hang gliders
- Hockey, cricket and lacrosse equipment
- Javelin and pole vault
- Oars and paddles
- Scuba gear (with tanks)
- Scuba gear (without tanks)
- Shooting equipment
- Skis (snow/water) and snowboards
- Watersports boards
- Tennis, badminton, squash, or racquetball
- Windsurf or kitesurfs
How to check sports baggage for Hawaiian Airlines flights
After verifying Rule 18.D special items, aka sports baggage, you can either check your sporting equipment normally at the airport just as you would any other bag.
As some sporting equipment is big and bulky, aka oversized, it’s best to arrive at the airport earlier than you might would with normal checked luggage as oversized luggage can take a few extra minutes to check.
Hawaiian Airlines military baggage policy
Hawaiian Airlines allows active-duty military personnel and dependents traveling on orders to get 4 checked bags for free, up to 70 lbs and 80 linear inches. Dependents traveling without an active duty military family member must present the orders at check-in. While the military personnel must show a valid active-duty military ID.
Traveling on leisure, you are able to check 2 bags for free, up to 50 lbs and 62 linear inches. For leisure travel, this benefit is only for the active military personnel and not for dependents. One must present an active duty military ID at check-in.
If you want to learn more about military benefits for airlines, I suggest reading our article.
When can I check-in my bags for Hawaiian Airlines?
Hawaiian Airlines check-in depends on your departure city and destination.
Minimum check-in time for Hawaiian Airlines
- Neighbor Island flights: 30 minutes before scheduled departure
- North America flights: 45 minutes before scheduled departure
- International flights: 60 minutes before scheduled departure
The above times aren’t suggested times for checking into your flight. These are cutting it close and you still would have to get through security. I would suggest checking with the departure airport as each international airport is different.
Suggested check-in time for Hawaiian Airlines
- Neighbor Island flights: 1.5 hours before scheduled departure
- North America flights: 2.5 hours before scheduled departure
- International flights: 3 hours before scheduled departure
I do think these suggested check-in times are pretty extreme, I personally like to arrive at the airport 2 hours before scheduled international departures if I don’t have any priority access. However, arriving earlier minimizes the risk of missing a flight. Especially as lines can be long for check-in…
As always, check the policies for the departure airport as some airports have different policies in foreign countries.
Hawaiian Airlines pet policy
For the pet lovers out there that want to travel with their pet on Hawaiian Airlines with limitations as I explained below.
Pets traveling Hawaiian Airlines in the cabin
- Pets are only allowed to travel inter-island flights and flights leaving Hawaii.
- No pets are allowed to travel on flights to Hawaii (service animals are the exception)
- Animal health certificate must be obtained before departure from Hawaii
- Pets are only allowed for domestic North American flights
- One pet per passenger
- Pets must be in an approved carrier able to fit under the seat in front of you
- Pets aren’t allowed in first class
- Pets aren’t allowed to fly into New York (JFK) or Boston (BOS)
As you can see, these rules are strict. You can read the most up to date rules here, but the rules above are standard for Hawaii based travel as the state is strict about environment, diseases, and agriculture.
Fees for pets traveling in the cabin
Hawaiian Airlines fees for pets traveling inside the cabin are a reasonable $35 for inter-island Hawaii flights. For flights to North America, the fee is $175 for a pet.
Pets traveling Hawaiian Airlines as checked baggage
Similar to above, Hawaiian Airlines is strict about pets traveling as checked baggage. You must contact reservations 48 hours prior departure to add your pet as checked baggage. You can contact reservations at 1-800-367-5320
Fees for inter-island Hawaiian flights are $60 and $225 for North America flights. You can read more here.
What if my bags are lost or damaged on Hawaiian Airlines?
If your bags are lost or damaged make sure you report it to Hawaiian Airlines immediately. It is imperative to make a claim in person or online after the flight.
You can either go to baggage services at the airport or online. Please refer to this link.
What if I lost an item on Hawaiian Airlines?
It is best to find a Hawaiian Airlines representative at the airport before leaving. They could go back on the aircraft for you as federal regulations prohibit you from entering the aircraft again.
Hawaiian is a wonderful boutique full-service US-flagged carrier. It brings excitement to many as they take you to an amazingly beautiful destination like Hawaii or to a new one abroad. However, as a carrier with baggage fees, it still will tack on fees for neighbor islands and North American flights, that can still be avoidable.
I do hope the guide above was helpful and enjoy your next destination.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.