Airline Military Baggage Allowance: Free Checked Bags

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Many airlines in the United States provide generous baggage policies for active-duty military personnel, often allowing additional or heavier bags free of charge.

These policies can be particularly beneficial for servicemembers frequently on the move, whether deploying, returning, or transferring stations.

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American Airlines

American Airlines offers generous baggage allowances to military members. Active-duty personnel traveling on orders can check five bags free of charge, each weighing up to 100 pounds and measuring 126 inches in total dimensions.

Those traveling for leisure can check three bags under the same specifications. The military baggage policy extends to dependents traveling on the same orders.

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Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines' military baggage policy allows up to four checked bags for free for active military members in First Class and Delta One, up to five checked bags for Work orders, and up to two checked bags for personal travel. The maximum weight for each bag is 70 pounds.

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United Airlines

United offers a generous baggage allowance for active-duty U.S. military personnel. For those traveling on orders, they can check up to five bags for free, and if traveling for personal reasons, they can check up to three bags. Each bag can weigh up to 70 pounds.

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Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines stands out with its military baggage policy. Active-duty military personnel can check up to two pieces of luggage free of charge, with each piece not exceeding 50 pounds and 62 inches.

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JetBlue Airlines

JetBlue offers a baggage waiver for active duty military personnel, allowing two free checked bags at a maximum weight of 50 pounds each and one free carry-on bag. This benefit extends to dependents traveling on the same reservation as the military member.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines’ policy for active-duty military personnel allows up to five bags free of charge. Each bag can weigh up to 70 pounds and measure up to 115 inches in total dimensions.

Spirit Airlines

Despite being a budget airline, Spirit offers two free checked bags and one free carry-on to active-duty military personnel. These members also receive a free personal item and are exempt from oversize baggage charges.

Remember to Bring ID

To take advantage of these generous military baggage policies, be sure to present your active military ID at the check-in counter. It's also a good idea to verify these policies before your trip as they may vary or change without notice.

By offering these benefits, airlines are doing their part to lighten the load for our military personnel, literally and figuratively. These policies can significantly help to ease the stress and inconvenience of travel for military members and their families.

AirlineMilitary Baggage Policy for Active Duty on Orders
American AirlinesFive bags up to 100 lbs and 126 inches each. Active-duty on leisure: Three bags up to 100 lbs and 126 inches each.
Delta AirlinesUp to five bags up to 70 lbs each. Active-duty on personal travel: Two bags up to 70 lbs each.
United AirlinesFive bags up to 70 lbs each. Active-duty on personal travel: Three bags up to 70 lbs each.
Southwest AirlinesTwo bags not exceeding 50 lbs and 62 inches each.
JetBlue AirlinesTwo checked bags up to 50 lbs each, one free carry-on bag.
Alaska AirlinesFive bags up to 70 lbs and 115 inches each.
Spirit AirlinesTwo free checked bags and one free carry-on, exempt from oversize baggage charges.

Please note that these policies can vary or change without notice, so always verify before your trip.

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Do military get free checked bags?

It depends on the airline, but usually active duty military on orders (including leave orders) get between 2-5 bags checked for free on most US air carriers including American, Delta, United, Southwest, jetblue, Alaska and Spirit.

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