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Checked Baggage Fees Waived for Military


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Both of the airlines we are flying state that they offer a good discount (free) on a certain number of checked bags for military personnel, even when traveling for pleasure. One of the airlines even extends this to dependents traveling with them.

 

In our case it could save quite a bit of money since we are a family of five. Our original plan was to bring five carry-ons and only as many large checked suitcases (probably 3) as we need since they will be $35 each. But normally we fly Southwest (no fees) and each bring one large checked bag to keep our carry-ons to a minimum. This is obviously easier for us to manage, especially since our youngest struggles to pull anything larger than a small carry-on.

 

So... Has anyone done this? Is it a huge hassle?

 

Has anyone in the Reserves tried this with the white ID that looks identical to AD?

 

I'm going to ask this question in the Air forum, too, since it seems this area isn't frequented as much.

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We're both active duty but we've done it many times. Depending on the airline, some want your ID, some want a copy of the leave orders. We've had success with United and American waiving our baggage fees. I believe American even offered free seat upgrades for military.

 

At our airport, there are specific kiosks for military members to check-in at that have the fees waived. If they don't have the military kiosks, there's usually a button halfway through to select "military" on the bag screen. You'll then have to go to the front to check your bags.

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We're both active duty but we've done it many times. Depending on the airline, some want your ID, some want a copy of the leave orders. We've had success with United and American waiving our baggage fees. I believe American even offered free seat upgrades for military.

 

At our airport, there are specific kiosks for military members to check-in at that have the fees waived. If they don't have the military kiosks, there's usually a button halfway through to select "military" on the bag screen. You'll then have to go to the front to check your bags.

 

Ok, thank you. Neither of the airlines say anything on their websites about leave orders, but I suppose they could demand them anyway if they wanted.

 

I guess it's a matter of whether we want to take the chance. It would completely change the bags we bring and the way we pack them, but we'd have to be prepared to pay the fees if it didn't work out.

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We are flying Air Canada and their info is here (no free bags for dependents, but up to three for the service person):

 

http://www.aircanada.com/en/agents_n...age_policy.pdf

 

It says "Eligible active and retired members of the Canadian and U.S. military are now entitled to check up to three pieces of checked baggage, each weighing up to 32 kg (70 lb) each. The allowance is applicable to the

member of the military and is valid for both personal and duty travel."

 

Our years of experience with terminology like "eligible active and retired members" has so far always included Reservists.

 

The other airline is United and their info is here:

 

https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/tra...edBaggage.aspx

 

It says "Active U.S. military personnel and their dependents:

Dependents of active U.S. military personnel will have the same exemptions as the military service member whose status provides the benefit, as long as they are traveling on the same reservation."

 

It seems that there would be an extra step or two required at the airport -- getting the ID checked for eligibility, getting special luggage tags. Seems like it would be worth the trouble if it worked out.

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In our experience, United is pretty good about offering free bags. Their website says 3 bags free for active military personnel up to 70lbs/bag. We don't have any experience with Air Canada though...

 

I would bring a copy of your orders if you can, just to be safe. However, I've only had them ask for them once... Normally, you just grab some person at the kiosk, tell them your military, show them your ID, they punch in their code, and you're good to go. Sometimes it takes a while but normally it's pretty fast.

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That's great that some airlines will do this. Looks like it doesn't apply to retired military. :(

 

With Air Canada it does apply to retired military, which is very nice. Every airline is different. Definitely worth checking next time you take a trip.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Here's WestJet's policy:

 

WestJet waives baggage fees for active and retired Canadian military personnel as well as active military personnel from other countries. In order to qualify for this exemption, military identification must be shown.

 

Any military personnel travelling for business or personal reasons can do so with a maximum of four bags on WestJet flights and a maximum of three bags on WestJet Encore flights at no additional charge. We will not charge overweight and/or oversized baggage fee(s) for military personnel; however, baggage exceeding our maximum permitted size or weight will not be accepted as guest baggage and must be shipped via cargo (all applicable fees apply).

 

This exemption does not extend to:

 

Current Department of National Defence (DND) public servants and their families

Serving and former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and their families

Other members of first-response agencies, peace officers, etc.

Current staff of Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and their families

Current staff of Defence Construction Canada (DCC) and their families

Current staff of Communications Securities Establishment (CSE) and their families

Honourary Colonels/Captains(N), Lieutenant Colonels/Commanders and their families

Former Staff of the Non-Public Funds, Canadian Forces with a pension and their families

Former Staff of Department of National Defence (DND) with a pension and their families

Family members of the Staff of the Non-Public Funds (NPF), Canadian Forces (CF)

Family members of the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC)

 

https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/baggage/checked-excess (click on the section headed "Military Baggage Information"

Edited by Jackytar
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  • 5 years later...

Allegiant Airlines in the US has an Allegiant Honors program.

Free services offered to active duty, reserve duty, and veteran members of the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force. Coast Guard, Public Health Commissioned, NOAA Officers, with ID.

Up to 2 checked bags, no charge for oversized, one carryon, one personal item.  Spouses and dependent May qualify only if traveling on the same itinerary as the eligible military traveler.

Since Allegiant usually charges extra for everything above the personal item, this could be a big savings.

If you already paid when making reservations, you can get a credit.  We find it easier to not pay ahead, then show ID when checking in at the airport.

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  • 7 months later...
Just now, ColdCruise said:

@greenumbrella thanks for the info on Allegiant - very generous of them, given their pricing schema.


We used the free bag benefit successfully with Air Canada a couple times and I always consider them when booking as. Weight costs & benefits.

And forgot to mention we appreciate Air Canada’s generosity 🇨🇦 

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  • 2 months later...
On 7/7/2023 at 10:31 AM, electro said:

It is interesting that the 2 Canadian airlines offer their free baggage perk to US military but non of the US airlines offer it to Canadian military.

@electro Don’t be disappointed- none of the US airlines offer that to US military either, unless you’re on active duty and usually only if your on orders. I have to either pay for airfare with included baggage or pay supplemental fees, especially if more than 1 bag (I fly economy of some type unless I can leverage points or an upgrade bid).

 

Because of Air Canada’s generosity, I try to fly them whenever the flights are reasonably timed or prices are close  to what I’d pay for the other airline inclusive of baggage. Plus returning from overseas via Montreal orToronto saves me a ton of time and aggro since their US border control process is soooo much better than IAD or Baltimore, or Miami, Philly or JFK …. Gotta wonder 💭 

Edited by ColdCruise
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  • 2 weeks later...

ColdCruise - is this you, Kathy, who has upcoming CCL cruise to Greenland? Been trying to reach you through our roll call as well as email - sent you several emails re: private tour to Gros Morne, NL — please look up and reply to let me know if you’re still cruising w/us AND specifically if you’re still interested in tbd private tour, please. I have paid 1/2 deposit and must pay balance before departure. Please send email to lap3333 at hotmail ASAP & confirm you want 2 spaces in private van. Thank you.

(p.s. pls pardon my intrusion here if not ‘Kathy’ I’m looking for …creative locator research 😉 — appreciate your understanding. If this is Kathy, again, please email me reply ASAP & include a  phone number, please, preferably cell number to text. May be possible we meet up prior 13 Aug, provided you have not cancelled cruise.
 

Many thanks, kind regards, et bon voyage a tous /to everyone reading this ‘strange’ post!

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  • 3 months later...
On 8/20/2022 at 9:58 AM, greenumbrella said:

Allegiant Airlines in the US has an Allegiant Honors program.

Free services offered to active duty, reserve duty, and veteran members of the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force. Coast Guard, Public Health Commissioned, NOAA Officers, with ID.

Up to 2 checked bags, no charge for oversized, one carryon, one personal item.  Spouses and dependent May qualify only if traveling on the same itinerary as the eligible military traveler.

Since Allegiant usually charges extra for everything above the personal item, this could be a big savings.

If you already paid when making reservations, you can get a credit.  We find it easier to not pay ahead, then show ID when checking in at the airport.

Allegiant Airlines DOES honor ID carrying defendants  flying alone.  I have been doing it for years. Here is what they offer military :

 

For domestic flights, Allegiant proudly supports our U.S. active and reserve duty military and military veterans of the seven (7) uniformed services offering select free benefits.

Free services offered for active duty, reserve duty, and veteran members of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps., Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Officer Corps., with valid identification:

Up to two (2) pieces of checked baggage. Each bag must weigh under 99 lbs.

No charge for oversize checked baggage. Maximum size is 115 linear inches in height + width + length.

One (1) carry-on bag within Allegiant size limits.

One (1) personal item within Allegiant size limits.

Free boarding pass printing at the airport.

Up to one (1) pet in cabin.

Qualifying service members will be called to board early.

Active and reserve military will not be charged a change or cancelation fee due to a change in orders.
(To change or cancel an existing reservation active military personnel must contact Customer Care.)

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On 11/8/2023 at 12:22 AM, kellanrevere said:

Allegiant Airlines DOES honor ID carrying defendants  flying alone.  I have been doing it for years. Here is what they offer military :

 

For domestic flights, Allegiant proudly supports our U.S. active and reserve duty military and military veterans of the seven (7) uniformed services offering select free benefits.

Free services offered for active duty, reserve duty, and veteran members of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps., Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Officer Corps., with valid identification:

Up to two (2) pieces of checked baggage. Each bag must weigh under 99 lbs.

No charge for oversize checked baggage. Maximum size is 115 linear inches in height + width + length.

One (1) carry-on bag within Allegiant size limits.

One (1) personal item within Allegiant size limits.

Free boarding pass printing at the airport.

Up to one (1) pet in cabin.

Qualifying service members will be called to board early.

Active and reserve military will not be charged a change or cancelation fee due to a change in orders.
(To change or cancel an existing reservation active military personnel must contact Customer Care.)

That’s pretty generous of Allegiant. Never flew them, don’t think I’ve even seen their flights.

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  • 5 months later...
21 hours ago, roomba920 said:

Just curious....as only active military have an I.D., how do veterans prove their status to airlines?

A lot of airlines and cruise lines use sites such as id.me to confirm military veteran status.

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11 hours ago, ColdCruise said:

@roomba920 (and anyone else wondering) You used to have to provide your DD214 but now NCL uses id.me

 

sorry for late response- been traveling 🙂

Thank you, but I was specifically inquiring about airlines.

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