You would think that after all the brouhaha several years ago concerning baggage fees for military members traveling on orders that all the airlines adopted the same rules. However, I have found that is not true particularly for dependents and personal travel.
Let’s take a look at what American, and now US Air, have for their rules:
1st, 2nd and 3rd checked bag fees waived
- Confirmed First and Business Class customers
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum*
- oneworld Emerald*
- Active U.S. military with ID and dependents traveling with them on orders (1st – 5th bags free of charge)
- Active U.S. military with ID on personal travel
So you should have plenty of room for all your bags unless you have a large family. However, your dependents traveling on personal travel with you are out of luck with no allowance.
How about Delta? Here is thier verbiage:
If you are: 1) active duty U.S. military personnel on orders to or from duty stations and dependents traveling with them; or 2) active U.S. military dependents traveling on relocation orders, you may check the following at no charge:
Up to four bags in Main Cabin on Delta and in all cabins on Delta Connection flights.
Up to five bags in Delta One™, First and Business Class on Delta aircraft only.
Additionally, active military personnel traveling on personal business on Delta and Delta Connection operated flights may check two bags up to 50 lbs (23 kg) and 62 linear inches (158 cm) at no charge.
So this is even more restrictive in that when on personal travel, military personnel, but not their dependents, are allowed only two bags.
Lastly, let’s take a look at United:
U.S. military exemptions
- Active U.S. military personnel and their accompanying dependents, not traveling on official business, receive waived service charges for up to three checked bags at 70 pounds (32 kg) each.
- Active U.S. military personnel and their dependents traveling in United Economy on official business receive waived service charges for up to four checked bags at 70 pounds (32 kg) each.
- Active U.S. military personnel and their dependents traveling in United Global FirstSM, United BusinessFirst®, United First® or United Business® on official business receive waived service charges for up to five checked bags at 70 pounds (32 kg) each.
- Dependents traveling with active U.S. military personnel are also exempt as long as they are traveling in the same reservation. This exemption will not apply to group reservations including ten or more customers.
This is by far the most generous with three bags being allowed for each of your dependents even when on personal travel. Pretty nice. Something to consider on your next vacation.