All the Baggage Fees You Need to Know in 1 Chart

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Before you make your way to the airport this holiday season, be sure to consult this chart.

SmarterTravel recently researched all the extra fees that each of the major domestic airlines charge for carry-ons, checked luggage and overweight bags. The result is an easy-to-read chart that makes it infinitely simpler to do a true comparison of what it actually costs to fly on each airline and to plan ahead for how to much to bring on the trip.

Baggage fees do tend to be pretty streamlined compared to other airline fees, but there are some significant fluctuations that could potentially cost travelers hundreds of dollars extra if they are not prepared. As a general rule, airlines charge $20-$25 for the first checked bag, $25-$35 for the second checked bag and nothing for the carry-on, though Spirit charges more for each of these.

Things get more complicated when it comes to additional bags and overweight luggage. At certain airlines like Airtran and Southwest (Stock Quote: LUV), the third piece of luggage costs $50, while Delta (Stock Quote: DAL) and American charge $125 and $150, respectively. Likewise, a bag that’s 71 pounds overweight would cost you $50 extra on Southwest but a whopping $200 extra on United.

Flights are expensive enough, so don’t pay more than you have to for baggage fees.

Airlines aren’t the only companies that have ramped up fees this year. Check out the biggest culprits in MainStreet’s roundup of the worst new fees of 2011.

Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by email at Seth.Fiegerman@thestreet.com, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.

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