How major airlines compare on fees, perks

Bankrate.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.

  • Delta
    Checked bags within U.S.
    First bag$25
    Second bag$35
    Third bag$125
    Checked bags (international)
    First bagFree ($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 bagFree* ($25 to Canada)
    Second bagFree-$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.

    Southwest Airlines
    Checked bags within U.S.
    First bagFree
    Second bagFree
    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.

    American Airlines
    Checked bags within U.S.
    First bag$25
    Second bag$35
    Third bag$150
    Checked bags (international)
    First bagFree ($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 bagFree-$25
    Second bagFree-$100
    Third bag$85-$200
    Overweight bag
    Charges start 50+ lbs$90-$175
    Oversized bag
    Allowed dimensions vary$175

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    jetBlue
    Checked bags within U.S.
    First bagFree
    Second bag$40
    Third bag$75
    Checked bags (international)*
    First bagFree
    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 bagFree to $25
    Second bag$25
    Third bag$75
    Overweight bag
    Charges start 50+ lbs$75
    Oversized bag
    Allowed dimensions vary$75
    Spirit Airlines
    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.

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    Frontier Airlines
    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 bagFree
    Second bagFree
    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

    Delta
    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
    Southwest Airlines
    Preferred seats
    Not found on website
    Comfort seating
    Not found on website
    American Airlines
    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

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    jetBlue
    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
    Spirit Airlines
    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

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    Frontier Airlines
    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
  • Delta
    Personal travel2 bags free
    Active duty travel4 bags free
    United Airlines
    Personal travel3 bags free
    Official business travel4 bags free
    Dependents' bags on travel ordersFree
    Southwest Airlines
    Active duty travel3rd+ bag free
    American Airlines
    Personal travel or on order2 bags free
    Dependents' bags on travel ordersFree
    US Airways
    Personal travel2 bags free
    For travel on orders4 bags free
    Dependents' bags on travel ordersFree

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    jetBlue
    For travel on orders5 bags free
    If wearing uniform5 bags free
    Alaska Airlines
    For active duty military5 bags free
    Dependents' bags on travel ordersFree
    Spirit Airlines
    Not found on website

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    Frontier Airlines
    For active duty personnel with ID. Doesn't cover travel companions; priority boarding if wearing uniform.Free bags
    Hawaiian Airlines
    For personal travel2 bags free
    For travel on orders4 bags free
    Dependents' bags on travel ordersFree
  • Loyalty program breaks on fees
    for high-mileage fliers; fee discounts typically start at 25,000 miles a year.

    Delta
    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
    Southwest Airlines
    Rapid Rewards
    Free drink coupons
    35,000 miles gets priority check-in/security
    70,000 miles also free Wi-Fi
    American Airlines
    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

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    jetBlue
    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
    Spirit Airlines
    FREE SPIRIT
    No breaks on fees found on website

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    Frontier Airlines
    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

    Delta
    First bag free, also for companions
    Priority boarding
    20 percent 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
    Southwest Airlines
    None found on website
    American Airlines
    First bag free, also for four companions
    Priority boarding
    25 percent off food, drinks, headsets
    US Airways
    Check in at first class counter
    Group 2 boarding
    One day pass a year for US Airways Club

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    jetBlue
    50 percent off movies, food, alcoholic drinks, pillows and blankets
    Alaska Airlines
    None found on website
    Spirit Airlines
    Priority boarding at some airports

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    Frontier Airlines
    Not found on website
    Hawaiian Airlines
    Free access to $6.99 TV and More package on seatback screens
  • Delta
    Priority boarding$10
    United Airlines
    Priority boardingStarts at $9, includes priority check-in, security lines; flight from Atlanta to Chicago showed $38 fee round trip
    Southwest Airlines
    Priority boardingBuy upgraded boarding for $40 per flight segment; EarlyBird Check-In $12.50 per person gives better chance of earlier boarding group
    American Airlines
    Priority boarding$9 to $40; customers without overhead luggage board after priority boarding
    US Airways
    Priority boardingStarts at $10 each way, including priority check-in and security lines, where available

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    jetBlue
    Priority boardingJetBlue's comfort seating fee offers priority boarding.
    Alaska Airlines
    Priority boardingOnly found for high-mileage fliers on website.
    Spirit Airlines
    Priority boardingDetails not found on website

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    Frontier Airlines
    Priority boardingPeople who buy stretch seating board among the first group.
    Hawaiian Airlines
    Priority boardingAvailable for frequent flier club members and those buying preferred seats or comfort seats
  • Delta
    Children traveling alone: $100
    United Airlines
    Children traveling alone: $150
    Southwest Airlines
    Children traveling alone: $50
    American Airlines
    Children traveling alone: $100
    US Airways
    Children traveling alone: $100; two checked bags free

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    jetBlue
    Children traveling alone: $100
    Alaska Airlines
    Children traveling alone: $25 nonstop flights; $50 connecting flights; no fee for children with high mileage levels
    Spirit Airlines
    Children traveling alone: $100 includes snack and drink

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    Frontier Airlines
    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
  • Delta
    Checked pets$200
    Cargo pets$178-$1,220.42
    Cabin pets$125
    United Airlines
    Checked pets--
    Cargo pets$75-$659
    Cabin pets$125
    Southwest Airlines
    Checked petsNot offered
    Cargo petsNot offered
    Cabin pets$95
    American Airlines
    Checked pets$175
    Cargo pets--
    Cabin pets$125
    US Airways
    Checked/cargo pets$150- $175
    Cabin pets$125

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    jetBlue
    Checked/cargo petsNot offered
    Cabin pets$100
    Alaska Airlines
    Checked/cargo pets$100 each way;
    not allowed some dates
    Cabin pets$100
    Spirit Airlines
    Checked/cargo petsNot offered
    Cabin pets$100

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    Frontier Airlines
    Checked/cargo petsNot offered
    Cabin pets$75-$125
    Hawaiian Airlines
    Checked pets$22
    Cabin pets$175, limited availability
  • Delta
    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+
    HeadsetFree
    Internet, Phone
    Per flight segment$4.99+
    Southwest Airlines
    Movie options and headset
    Streaming movie$5
    HeadsetNot offered
    Internet, Phone
    Inflight Wi-Fi$8
    American Airlines
    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 flightsFree
    Internet, Phone
    Single flight$4.95+
    All-day pass$14
    Monthly pass$39.95

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    jetBlue
    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
    Spirit Airlines
    Movie options and headset
    Not found on website.
    Headset
    Not found on website.
    Internet, Phone
    Not offered.

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    Frontier Airlines
    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 planesFree
    Tablet rental$15-$17
    Headset
    Two headsets come with tablet rental; souvenir headset available to buy, no price found
    Internet, Phone
    Not offered
  • Delta
    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
    Southwest Airlines
    Blanket and pillow
    None found on website
    American Airlines
    Blanket and pillow
    None found on website
    US Airways
    Blanket and pillow
    $8 for blanket.

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    jetBlue
    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
    Spirit Airlines
    Blanket and pillow
    Not offered

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    Frontier Airlines
    Blanket and pillow
    Not found on website
    Hawaiian Airlines
    Blanket and pillow
    Free pillow and blanket comes with comfort seats
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