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Is United Baggage Subscription Worth It?

United Airlines does all it can to provide a smooth and convenient experience to its customers. let’s know is United Baggage subscription worth it? huh… let’s learn. To accomplish this, the US-based airline carrier offers several money-saving programs, of which, one such program is their annual baggage subscription. What is this subscription? How do you obtain it and what good it is to you? Like all others, a deep dive into it should help you decide if you want to really go for it.

In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at United’s baggage subscription and find out if it’s worth spending for.

Is United Baggage Subscription Worth It
United Airlines

United Airlines Baggage Subscription Overview

United’s baggage subscription is a yearly subscription that you can purchase in order to save money on your baggage fees. Basically, with the help of this annual subscription, you can check your bags for free. The annual baggage subscription fees for one person per bag cost $349 for domestic travel and $799 for international travel. This subscription is available on United and United Express operated flights only.

But, that’s not all. You can also purchase a subscription as a gift for someone, who may or may not be travelling with you on the same itinerary. And, when the person receives this subscription, he/she can apply the subscription to their MileagePlus account.

When you purchase United’s baggage subscription, you and up to eight companions travelling on the same reservation can each check up to two bags per flight for free.

United also gives you options to customize your subscription as per your needs. These include the following:

(a) Baggage subscription

You can choose the ability to check your first standard bag or first and second standard bags for free every time you travel.

(b) Included companions/travellers

You can customize the number of companions who are able to receive this benefit when travelling on the same reservation as you. Keep in mind that benefits apply only to the number of passengers that you purchased in the subscription provided they are travelling on the same reservation. Additional passengers will be subject to standard United Airlines baggage service charges.

(c) Region

You can select the geographic region where you want to be able to use your subscription. Also, your baggage subscription is valid not just one, but for all segments in the subscribed region on United or United Express operated flights.

Baggage subscription region applies to the origin and destination. The standard baggage charges will apply if your origin or destination is outside your subscribed region.

However, an important thing to note here is that the purchase of a baggage subscription does not waive the fees for oversized and/or overweight bags. Also, the subscription does not cover the cost of checking more than two standard bags. Thus, any bags that are overweight, over-size, excess, extra value, or special items will be subject to applicable baggage service charges. So, make sure you pack your bags accordingly before leaving for the airport.

How to Apply for and Manage your Baggage Subscription

You can apply for baggage subscription online on United’s website and avail the benefits that it offers to you. You may be required to have a MileagePlus account with United in order to manage your subscription.

Here are few simple steps to easily get going with the baggage subscription.

Step 1. Choose

Simply select the travellers and region for your subscription.

Step 2. Purchase

After making your selection, it’s time to buy the subscription.

Step 3. Check bags

Finally, you will now be able to check your baggage in at the airport.

Once you’ve subscribed, simply make sure that your MileagePlus number is associated with each United ticket that you purchase, and your standard checked baggage service charges will be waived at check-in.

You can return anytime to the My Account page on to manage your subscription. Here, you can easily make updates at your convenience. Additionally, you can modify, upgrade, renew, or even set up your subscription to auto-renew with ease.

If you wish to upgrade to a different region or add additional passengers to your subscription, you can upgrade your subscription at any time on the My Account page. Upgrading your subscription will extend its duration for another year with the new level of benefits that you select. Any residual value of your existing subscription will be applied to the subscription upgrade automatically.

Using Credit Cards and their Comparison

You can use your United travel credit cards for purchasing baggage subscription. However, an important thing to note here is that different credit cards will have their perks and limitations.

So, we will take a few such credit cards and compare them here.

MileagePlus Explorer Card

The annual fees for purchasing baggage subscription for one person with one bag is $349 for domestic travel and $799 for international travel. But, if you compare these prices when using the MileagePlus Explorer Card, you can fly with one bag for free for both yourself and your companion by paying an annual fee of $95 only.

Also,the benefits that you get when using the MileagePlus Explorer Card are:

  • Sign-up bonus 40,000 to 70,000 miles (depending on the offer)
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United
  • Priority Boarding
  • Anniversary United Club Passes
  • Miles do not expire
  • MileagePlus Premier members travelling on an award ticket can receive Premier Upgrades
  • No foreign transaction fees

MileagePlus Club Card

On the other hand, when using the MileagePlus Club Card, you can fly with two bags for free for both yourself and your companion by paying an annual fee of $450.

Also, the benefits that you get when using the MileagePlus Club Card are:

  • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Access to United Clubs and participating Star Alliance lounges
  • Priority check-in, security screening, and baggage handling
  • Priority boarding
  • Primary Cardmember and one companion travelling on the same reservation will each receive their first and second checked bags free
  • World of Hyatt: Discoverist Status (the same status offered by the Hyatt card)
  • Hertz President’s Circle Elite Status
  • Miles do not expire
  • MileagePlus Premier members travelling on an award ticket can receive Premier Upgrades
  • Increased award availability
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450 annual fee

Things You Need to Know about Baggage Subscription Purchase and Use

Before you purchase baggage subscription that is offered to you by United Airlines, it is important to know a little more about the policy with regard to its purchase and use.

Thus, the airline carrier has laid down some essential conditions, and they expect you to adhere to their terms, which are listed below:

  • Subscriptions are non-refundable and not transferable.
  • Subscriptions will expire on the date indicated on the term at purchase of the subscription.
  • The baggage subscription applies only when checking bags on a journey originating with a United or United Express flight that departs within your subscription period.
  • When checking bags with another airline, you will be subject to the other airline’s baggage policies and fees.
  • Fees for overweight, oversized, excess, odd-sized bags, specialty items, and sporting equipment may apply. More information on this can be found at their website’s page
  • Subscriptions may be customized to benefit additional travellers on the same reservation as the subscriber. Travellers not covered by the subscription benefits are subject to additional charges.
  • Flights must be scheduled to depart within the subscription period.
  • The subscriber’s MileagePlus number must be included in the reservation in order to receive the subscription benefits.
  • Subscription prices are subject to change without notice. An initiation fee applies for all new or expired subscriptions.
  • United reserves the right to amend, cancel, or modify these terms, conditions, and pricing at any time with or without notice.
  • Subscriptions may not be sold by anyone other than United. Any Subscriptions sold by a party other than United are void, and United reserves the right to take any or all of the following actions in connection with a third-party sale of a Subscription:

1) Invalidate the Subscription

2) Assess the traveller for the actual value of the services obtained through use of the Subscription

3) Delete miles in the traveller’s MileagePlus account or take any other action permitted by the Rules for MileagePlus Program

4) Take legal action against the traveller or third-party seller of the Subscription.

So, before purchasing United’s baggage subscription, make sure to read their conditions carefully.

Conclusion – Is United Baggage Subscription Worth It

United’s baggage subscribing does not necessarily allow for a carry-on bag on Basic Economy fares. However, it does allow for a checked bag, making for a less ghetto flying experience. Maybe that’s worth it in of itself. Perhaps, though, the best value is for families that do not want to juggle kids and luggage all at once.

Subscription, pricing thus, varies depending on the number of travellers, the number of bags checked and the region as well. There does not seem to be real use for most international travellers, though, since most airlines still allow checked bags on international itineraries.

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