United Airlines, my experience


Jul 30, 2022
I feel it is important to share my latest experience with United Airlines to help other travelers.

I had a terrible experience with United Airline, and honestly, I will never fly with them again. I do not recommend this Airline at all. After the incident, I reached out to customer service, and they did not lift a finger to help me or to advise me with a positive solution. I am very disappointed, here is my experience:

According to United website, baggage allowance can not exceed over 45 kg. This information one can look up on their website and is also visibly displayed when online check-in.

I began packing my bags two weeks ahead of the flight to ensure a calm and easy check-in, boarding and flight. I planned everything to great details, checked baggage allowance multiple times and pre-weighted my bags to keep them within the baggage allowance weight.

One of my bags was a holding a bicycle, which I placed in a B+W International bicycle hard case and added some clothes. The total weight of this piece of luggage was 43.5 kg. The dimensions and weight were within the baggage allowance of the United Airlines.

Upon arrival at the check-in I was informed, the maximum weight is 32 kg. I debated this and stated, even showed, the fact that on the United website it clearly says:
"We can’t accept bags weighing more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms). However, musical instruments and assistive devices are exceptions." - meaning they can and should accept up to 45 kg.

Online United Airlines also states: "Oversized bag fees do not apply to checked bicycles. Standard checked baggage fees as well as overweight service charges still apply."
Paying overweight was not a problem for me, I was ready to pay overweight.

I was informed this was true, but it was a general statement and does not apply to them. I could not believe what I was hearing, and unfortunately there was no clear solution provided to me. I was forced to leave my bag behind for no clear reason.

After arrival to my end destination I immediately reached out to United customer service, even they did not address the situation and misunderstood multiple times that I have lost my bag and I should reach out to baggage claim.

Feeling pushed back and forth and offered no solution whatsoever, I am now here at my destination and cannot ride my bike. I have no personal transportation options and am very disappointed in United Airlines.

Personally, I do not recommend this Airline at all.

(scale photo is a supportive element)

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Jul 23, 2003
I used to work with baggage policy at American, and the devil is always in the details. You did some high level research online, but I'd guess you missed something specific to your routing that a call ahead of time might have identified.

You didn't identify your routing... but there's a statement two lines above your highlighted overweight bag text that says "we can't accept oversized, overweight and extra bags on flights to certain destinations and on flights during certain times"...

Clicking into the detail on baggage embargoes, the first item is a 32kg limit to/from Australia and New Zealand...

Year-round limits for checked bags​

The following destinations don’t allow bags that weigh more than 70 pounds (32 kilograms):

  • Auckland, New Zealand (AKL)
  • Melbourne, Australia (MEL)
  • Sydney, Australia (SYD)

There's a separate section that says they can't accept overweight/oversize to destinations where there's a seasonal limit, which this time of year is most of Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Better yet, United has a page on their website where you can get the checked bag limits and possible charges:

Sorry you didn't get to bring your bike with. Facebook Marketplace might be an option to find one on the cheap.