An airline-by-airline guide to fees, pets, bumping & more

An airline-by-airline guide to fees, pets, bumping & more

Updated Oct. 9, 2018 With holiday travel right around the corner, it's important to have all the information you need to help your flight home go smoothly. After all, there’s more than just booking a flight to get to Grandma's house — there are different policies you have to follow, as well as an assortment of fees. And we found out what the policies are on bringing your emotional support goat on your travels with you (Spoiler: Probably won’t happen).

Check out everything you could want to know about policies, fees and even hidden ways to save on each of the major airlines in America.

Traveling with service & emotional support animals

First up, let’s talk pets. Most airlines don’t consider a service or emotional support animal a pet and have different policies for them, usually allowing them to fly at no extra cost. And woo-boy, has this become controversial. I’m looking at you, Dexter the peacock.

Per the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are animals airlines don't have to accept, including snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents, sugar gliders and spiders, but each airline can add to that list as they see fit.

Airlines typically require documentation showing you need this animal for travel and/or at your final destination and the doctor’s note typically has to include their medical license, proof you’re their patient and be dated within the past year. It’s also worth noting most airlines won’t let you sit in the exit row when you bring a service or support animal. Here are the policies among major airlines.

Alaska Airlines: Cats, dogs and miniature horses are accepted as trained service anmials; just cats and dogs are approved as emotional support animals. After an update to their policies in May 2018, qualified travelers with disabilities are required to provide additional documentation to bring their pet on board. Your personal required documentation must be on the letterhead of the medical doctor or mental health professional treating you. Beyond that, animals "must not exceed the ‘footprint’ of the guest’s seat."

Allegiant Airlines: You'll need to check in with your animal at least one hour prior to the flight. Passengers can only bring one emotional support animal or a total of three service animals.

American Airlines: American Airlines announced an update to their policy on May 14, which went into effect on July 1, 2018. Insects, hedgehogs and goats are now added to the restricted list. These pets must fit on your lap, at your feet or under the seat (without blocking the aisle). You’ll need to provide a reservation agent with your doctor’s note within 48 hours of your flight, as well as a request form, which you can find here.

Delta Airlines: As of March 1, Delta passengers need a signed statement from a medical professional, a veterinary health form (which you can find here for service animals and here for emotional support animals). They must also sign a statement saying the animal is properly trained. These all need to be submitted at least 48 hours before a flight and can’t be more than a year old. Service animals in training only fly free when they’re on their way to their new owner. In addition to DOT guidelines, Delta does not allow hedgehogs, insects, amphibians, goats, non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds and birds of prey) or animals with tusks, horns or hooves.

Frontier Airlines: Service animals are allowed in the cabin but only one per person (unless you buy an extra seat).

Hawaiian Airlines: In order to bring an emotional support animal, you must fill out this form and have a note on your mental health professional’s letterhead stating the animal is needed (this letter must be dated and less than a year old). You must notify the airline about your support animal at least 48 hours before your flight in order to have it join you in the cabin. The airline only needs to know about the service animal 48 hours prior to a flight if the flight is eight hours or longer.

JetBlue Airways: You can add these animals to your reservation when booking online or by calling JetBlue. Animals are not allowed on seats and must remain on the floor during flights. Animal carriers are not allowed in Mint seating during taxi, takeoff or landing (and must be stowed in overhead). In addition to DOT guidelines, JetBlue does not allow hedgehogs, insects, non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds and birds of prey) or animals with tusks.

Southwest Airlines: After seeing a surge in people bringing emotional support animals onboard, Southwest decided to update their policy. Starting September 17, Southwest will only consider dogs and cats as emotional support animals and you may only bring one. The animal must be in a carrier or on a leash. For service animals, Southwest will accept "only the most common service animals — dogs, cats, and miniature horses."

Spirit Airlines: Spirit requests you check in at least 90 minutes before the general public so you can verify documentation and other regulations. You can read more about their guidelines here.

United Airlines: As of March 2018, passengers are required to submit documentation from a mental health professional saying the support animal is essential for the passenger’s “mental health or treatment.” The airline must have this documentation at least 48 hours prior to the flight.

Virgin America: Policies for Virgin America throughout this piece are the same as Alaska Airlines, unless otherwise noted, as these two airlines officially merged in early 2018.

Traveling with pets

Most airlines have restrictions to how many pets are allowed per flight (and the type of carrier they need to be in), so it’s a good idea to call the airline as soon as you know you’re bringing your pet. Also, some states require health documents when bringing in a pet, so make sure you find out if that’s required wherever you’re going.

Here’s what else you need to know about bringing your fur baby on a domestic flight with the major airlines.

Alaska Airlines: Passengers 18 and older may bring certain animals in the cabin and the carrier counts toward your carry on bag allotment. There is a $100 fee each way, whether your pet travels in the cabin or in cargo. No pets are allowed as cargo on Alaska flights 2000-2999 (Alaska Airlines Regional Horizon Air) or 3300-3499 (SkyWest) from November 15 to 27, 2018 or December 13, 2018 to January 3, 2019. Approved pets are allowed in the cabin during these times, however.

Allegiant Airlines: Only domestic cats and dogs are permitted to fly in the cabin on a flight within the main land of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. There is a $100 fee per flight, per animal. Travelers must be at least 15-years-old to bring a pet on a flight and may not sit in an exit row or one row before/after exit rows.

American Airlines: Pets must be at least eight weeks old and you’ll need to provide a health certificate that your vet issued within 10 days of travel (60 days when returning on the same ticket). Carry on pets will cost $125 per kennel; checked pets cost $200 per kennel or $150 to/from Brazil.

Delta Airlines: Carrying on a dog, cat or household bird comes with a $125 fee each way. The other option is to put your pet as cargo (fees vary here). There are pet allowance exceptions for members of the U.S. military and their spouses, although the fees are higher ($200 for each flight or $150 to/from Brazil).

Frontier Airlines: Pets are only allowed in the cabin — no checking or cargo here. The fee to bring a pet aboard is $75 and the pet must stay in their carrier the entire time. Speaking of carriers, Frontier specifies that it “must be large enough for the pet to stand, turn around, and lie down in a natural position.”

Hawaiian Airlines: Taking an inter-island flight or one out of Hawaii? Your pet will be allowed in the cabin (as long as they weigh less than 25 pounds, including the carrier). But you aren’t allowed to bring a pet in the cabin into Hawaii due to quarantine reasons. Checked pets must not weigh more than 70 pounds (pet and kennel combined). If they do, they’ll be moved to cargo. Pets are also not permitted on flights to/from New York or internationally. If you’re traveling within the state of Hawaii, there’s a $35 fee; travel from Hawaii to the main land comes with a $175 fee.

JetBlue Airways: Small cats and dogs can travel in the cabin, as long as the combined weight of the pet and carrier isn’t more than 20 pounds. Only four animals are allowed per flight and there are no animals in cargo or checked areas of the plane. There is a $100 fee each way.

Southwest Airlines: Small cats and dogs who’re at least eight weeks old and up to date on their vaccinations may travel in cabin on domestic flights (no international flights). There is a $95 fee for each leg of the flight. Pets cannot travel in cargo or with unaccompanied minors.

Spirit Airlines: You can bring dogs, cats and small household birds in the cabin on domestic flights (except to/from Puerto Rico and St. Thomas) as long as the combined weight of the pet and carrier does not exceed 40 pounds. No pets are transported in cargo. Spirit notes the following birds are not permitted: farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, birds of prey and flightless birds. They also call out that “exotic pets, such as snakes, spiders, rodents, etc. will not be accepted.” There is a $110 fee per pet, per flight.

United Airlines: As of June 18, United only accepts cats and dogs on their flights. You can read more about their PetSafe program, including what breeds are (and aren't) permitted, on the United PetSafe website. There are fees for bringing these pets on your flight, which vary based on the total weight of the animal and crate.

Traveling with allergies

While we’re talking pets, it’s worth pointing out that no airline can guarantee an allergen-free flight for several reasons, including animals being allowed on flights, as well as in-flight snacks and meals processed in facilities where there are also nuts. Plus, airlines only have so much control over what snacks others bring aboard. So, if you’ve spoken with your doctor and can safely travel, it’s up to you to do what you can to have a comfortable flight.

“When you get to your seat, use an antibacterial wipe to clean all surfaces you may touch, including the seat, arms and the tray table in front of you,” Tanya Bumgardner, content editor and manager for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, said.

Even if the airline has taken precautions to remove your allergen triggers, like pets or peanuts, there could be remnants from previous passengers. Some airlines may allow you to board early to disinfect your immediate vicinity, so check with your gate agent when you arrive.

Baggage fees

Airlines made $4.6 billion in baggage fees in 2017, per the annual airline financial data report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And, unless you have an airline credit card or frequent flier status that exempts you, you’ll be contributing to that sum when you fly. Here are the fee policies for each major airline.

Alaska Airlines: You can check bags four hours before your flight until about an hour before takeoff. Standard bag fees are $25 for the first two bags; $75 thereafter. Any oversize or overweight bags (more than 50 pounds) have an additional $75 fee. No bag may weigh more than 100 pounds, with the exception of musical instruments, which come with their own fee structure. Strollers, car seats and (oddly) pineapple from Hawaii all travel free.

Alaska updated their carry-on bag size restrictions in June to be 22" x 14" x 9" — including wheels and handles — so make sure your bag fits this requirement before planning to carry it on.

Allegiant Airlines: Your baggage fee will vary based on your route, when you add the bag to your itinerary, weight and size of the bag and whether you’re checking it or carrying it on (yes, there are fees to bring a bag that isn’t a personal item into the cabin). Check specifics here.

American Airlines: When flying domestically, your first checked bag is $25; bag two is $35; bag three is $150; bag four and beyond is $200. There are restrictions on how many bags you can check based on destination. You can read more about that, and other regional fees, here. You can also see the overweight baggage fee structures here.

Delta Airlines: The most common fees for domestic travels is $25 for the first checked bag (under 50 pounds) and $35 for each bag thereafter. You get one carry on item and personal item for free. For other rates based on departure location and destination, go here.

Frontier Airlines: Fees vary based on your purchase location and which bag you’re paying for. Online at booking is the best value, $35 for a carry-on; $30 for your first checked bag; $45 for your second checked bag; $80 thereafter. (Note: There are discounts when traveling during value season, which is April 18 to May 24 and September 5 to October 31 this year. During those blocks, your carry on bag is $30 and $25 for your first checked bag.)

Online after booking/up to 24-hours before departure is $38 for your carry-on or first checked bag; $45 for your second checked bag; $80 thereafter. If you use the call center or purchase on web check-in, you’ll pay $40 for your carry-on or first checked bag; $45 for your second checked bag; $85 thereafter. Purchasing at the airport ticket counter or kiosk, you’ll pay $45 for your carry-on or first checked bag; $50 for your second checked bag; $85 thereafter. Waiting until you get to the departure gate will be the priciest option, as it’s $60 for your carry-on bag and $60 for any bags exceeding size requirements for carry-ons.

Hawaiian Airlines: If flying to a neighbor island, your first bag is $25, second bag is $35 and each additional bag is $50. If flying to any other states in North America, your first bag is $25, second bag is $35 and each additional bag is $100. If flying internationally or in first class,, your first two bags are free and each additional bag is $150. Each passenger can bring one carry-on and a personal item at no cost.

JetBlue Airways: This all depends on what type of fare you booked — Blue pays $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second. Blue Plus and Blue Flex get the first bag free and second bag for $35 or free (respectively). All three tiers pay $100 for the third or any additional bags.

Southwest Airlines: There are no fees for the first two carry-on and checked bags. However, anything beyond that, as well as any overweight or oversized bags, have a $75 fee per bag.

Spirit Airlines: All passengers can carry on a personal item (purse, laptop bag, etc.) for free. Beyond that, things start to get tricky. Prices to carry on start at $37 ($28 if you are part of the fare club) and go up from there, based on where/when you book and your travel destination. In terms of checked bags, fees for the first bag start at $32 ($23 for Fare Club members). Log onto the Spirit site and enter your travel origin/destination to see fee specifics for your trip.

United Airlines: Most passengers can bring one carry-on bag and a personal item on board for free. However, Basic Economy passengers who aren’t Premier members or haven't used a qualifying MileagePlus credit card to book the ticket, can only bring a personal item at no charge. Checked baggage fees vary by location, but a lot of domestic flights come with a $25 fee for the first bag and $35 for the second.

Baggage problems

There’s a lot that can happen to your bag during travel. If it’s lost, airlines are required to reimburse your baggage fee, plus what was inside, up to $3,500 per passenger. If your bag is damaged beyond normal wear and tear, you may be able to get the airline to pay for repairs or give you some other compensation. And if your bag missed the flight or went to the wrong destination (aka, it’s late), the airlines must cover reasonable expenses for items you need immediately, like a toothbrush or contact solution.

You’ll want to report any problems right away — some airlines only recognize a problem reported four hours after it arose — so make sure you head straight to the baggage service office of your airline to file a claim. All that said, a couple airlines have additional policies for baggage problems, which are highlighted below.

Alaska Airlines: Alaska guarantees your bag will be at baggage claim within 20 minutes of when your plane gets to the gate. Not the case? You’ll get a discount code for $25 off on your next Alaska Airlines flight or 2,500 bonus miles added to your account. But make sure you call customer service within two hours of this happening or else you won’t get comped.

Delta Airlines: If your bag is 12 or more hours late, you may be eligible for a baggage fee refund. SkyMiles members are eligible for 2,500 bonus miles if their bags don’t make it to the carousel in 20 minutes or less (after a domestic flight only).

Flight delays & cancellations

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics report that about one-fifth of flights are delayed or canceled each year. Some airports are more reliable than others about getting flights out on time, but if you face a less-than-punctual takeoff time, airlines are required to do certain things, like provide working bathrooms (thankfully) as well as food and non-alcoholic drinks if you’re stuck on the tarmac. Plus, once that plane backs away from the gate, they have three hours (four for international flights) to be wheels up, or else the airline will get hit with a major fine.

If you’re in the airport, all airlines are required to give you are regular updates to a new departure time, but many will try to keep you happy with free snacks or water bottles while you wait (although this isn’t required).

Beyond these federal obligations, some airlines offer additional things in the event of a delay or cancellation. There are some exceptions to most of these, like if the delay is caused by weather or extraordinary circumstances, so be prepared.

Alaska Airlines: If your delay will be three hours or more, Alaska’s website says their customer care team will “reach out to you with an apology and relevant discount code” for a future flight. If your flight is canceled, and you are 100 miles or more from home, the airline may provide accommodations, including a hotel room and ground transportation to and from the hotel.

American Airlines: If your delay or cancellation causes you to miss your connection, American will rebook you on the next flight with available seats. If you aren’t boarded to your final destination before 11:59 p.m. local time, the airline will arrange for a hotel stay.

Delta Airlines: Delta says that anyone with a four hour or more delay between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. local time will get a voucher for a room at a nearby hotel, as well as comped transportation to and from that hotel. This also applies if your flight was canceled and you can’t get rebooked on a flight until the following day.

Frontier Airlines: For delays lasting one to three hours, you may keep your flight or change for one within 72 hours of the original flight for no fee. If the delay is for more than three hours, you can do the same or request a full refund.

Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian Airlines will provide hotel accommodations for anyone who has a flight delay exceeding four hours, as long as they aren’t residents of the place where the delay occurs and the delay happens between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. local time. Those facing a delay of four hours or more will also get a meal voucher, transportation to the hotel and one long distance call as long as it’s to somewhere in the U.S.

JetBlue Airways: Delays can get you up to a $250 credit compensation, as long as it’s not prompted by a security event. You can see the full compensation breakdown here. If your flight is canceled, you can either request a full refund or get on the next available flight at no additional cost. But that’s not all — if your flight is canceled due to a “controllable irregularity” and there isn’t a flight out within an hour, you can get compensation for a future flight. That’s a $50 credit for flights canceled within four hours of your flight and $100 if it’s after your scheduled departure.

Southwest Airlines: If there’s a delay or cancellation, Southwest will try to get you on the next available flight. If there isn’t one that day, they may provide lodging and transportation to the hotel.

Spirit Airlines: Spirit may provide accommodations for passengers on select canceled flights, but only if they are non-local customers.

United Airlines: You may request a refund of your ticket price and baggage fees if your flight is canceled or delayed by two hours or more. You may receive a refund if your flight is canceled/delayed overnight. You may also receive a toiletry kit if you have to stay overnight and you can’t access your checked baggage.

Cancellation & changes fees

Things change, including your need for a certain flight. You can do this without a penalty within 24 hours of originally booking the ticket, as long as your flight is a week or more away. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at your airline’s cancellation policy (or thanking yourself for getting travel insurance.)

Alaska Airlines: Cancellations more than 60 days before departure won’t incur a fee. Any closer than that and you’ll pay $125 on standard fares. Same rules apply for changes, unless your whole flight is within Alaska.

Allegiant Airlines: If your purchase TripFlex, you can cancel your flight without fees up to an hour before the flight. Otherwise, you’ll pay a $75 fee per segment. You must make these changes more than seven days before your flight date.

American Airlines: If you used reward points to pay for the flight, you’ll pay $150 for the first award ticket and $25 thereafter. These fees are waived for Executive Platinum members. If you paid for the ticket, however, you’ll get hit with a $200 fee ($750 for international flights).

Delta Airlines: There’s a $200 fee for domestic flights (up to $500 for international flights). If you used awards, you’ll be hit with a $150 fee.

Frontier Airlines: There’s no charge for anyone who paid for a The Works fare. Otherwise, it’s $99. If you used reward points to buy your ticket, there’s no fee up to eight days before the flight — otherwise, it’s also $99.

Hawaiian Airlines: Depending on where you’re traveling, your fee will be up to $200.

JetBlue Airways: Canceling 60 days or more before your flight? That’ll be $75. Otherwise, your fee is based on your ticket price — fares less than $100 have a $75 fee, $100 to $149 fares have $100 fee, and $150 or more fares have $150 fees.

Southwest Airlines: No fees here and refunds are issued as a travel credit.

Spirit Airlines: The fee structure varies based on where you make the adjustment — $90 online and $100 over the phone or at the airport — or is a flat $110 for flights booked with rewards.

United Airlines: There’s a $200 fee for domestic flights (up to $400 for international flights). If you booked an award ticket, your fees vary based on various factors, but range from $0 to $125.

Getting bumped from a flight

There are two types of “bumps” from a flight — voluntary and involuntary. If a flight is oversold, gate agents may ask if anyone is willing to give up their seat in exchange for a compensation. If no one does, the agents are forced to select people to involuntarily take a later flight, usually based on check-in times or priority status.

“If a passenger isn’t in a hurry and volunteers to take a later flight I would try to bargain for a first class seat, lounge access and also ask for cash rather than a voucher,” George Hobica, travel expert and creator of Airfarewatchdog, said. He also said involuntary bumping is less common now because many airlines recently changed their policies and “now offer up to $10,000 to entice passengers to volunteer.”

That amount sound tempting? A Policygenius survey found that just over 1 in 5 Americans say no amount of money makes up for losing their seat on a flight. Most airlines don’t show their hand by publishing the amounts they’re authorized to offer in exchange for passengers voluntarily taking a bump. However, if you’re bumped involuntarily, you have rights.

Per the U.S. Department of Transportation, compensation is based on the price of your tickets and how long the bump delays you. If you’re rebooked on a flight that is less than an hour later, no compensation is required. If your new flight is one to two hours (one to four on international flights), you will get 200% of the one-way fare (up to $675). If your delay is two or more hours (four or more on international flights), or canceled all together, you’ll get 400% of the one-way fare (up to $1,350).

Emergency & bereavement fares

In the event of a loss of an immediate family member, you may be able to receive a discounted flight, often referred to as a bereavement fare. These may not always be the best option, so it still pays to shop around, even if you are in a rush to catch a flight. It's also worth noting that each airline has their own definition of who is considered "immediate" family, so you'll want to verify that with your specific airline.

Alaska Airlines: There’s a 10% discount for Mileage Plan members who have lost someone in their immediate family. Travel must happen within seven days of booking the flight and tickets must be booked by phone.

Allegiant Airlines: Bereavement fares are not offered by Allegiant Airlines.

American Airlines: Bereavement fares are not offered by American Airlines.

Delta Airlines: Discounts are available, but tickets must be booked over the phone. To be eligible, the loss has to be of an immediate family member and you will be required to provide certain documentation including the name of the deceased, your relationship to them, as well as the name and phone number of the funeral home, hospital or hospice that can confirm their passing.

Frontier Airlines: Bereavement fares are not offered by Frontier Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines: To receive a waiver or refund for your flight because of a loss of an immediate family member, you will need to provide a copy of the death certificate, proof of your relationship to the deceased and a copy of your ticket.

JetBlue Airways: Bereavement fares are not offered by JetBlue Airlines.

Southwest Airlines: Bereavement fares are not offered by Southwest Airlines.

Spirit Airlines: Bereavement fares are not offered by Spirit Airlines.

United Airlines: As of March 2014, bereavement fares are not offered by United Airlines.

Easy ways to save on each airline

We don’t recommend wearing all your clothes to avoid a checked bag fee — but there are some easy things you can do to save with each airline.

Alaska Airlines: If your frequent flier account is inactive for two years, you may lose your miles. You can reclaim them within a year but, of course, this comes with a fee (currently $75). Avoid this by making sure you have activity on your account at least once every two years (shouldn’t be that hard, right?).

Allegiant Airlines: This airline charges $5 to print a boarding pass at the airport. To avoid this, download the free app and get a digital pass instead. Prefer having a ticket in hand? Print it out at home.

American Airlines: Hoping to save with the Basic Economy fare? Just make sure you’re not going to get caught at the gate with a bag you can’t carry on if they run out of room. Otherwise, you’ll get hit with a $25 fee per bag.

Delta Airlines: Want to stay connected while at 30,000 feet? If you’re only going to be sending messages, many Delta flights offer a messaging connection for free. Check with your flight before buying an internet package.

Frontier Airlines: Pay for your baggage when you book your ticket online and you can save a bundle. We’re talking paying $30 for a carry-on bag compared to $60 if you wait pay at the departure gate.

Hawaiian Airlines: Bringing a surfboard or something similar? You can bring it on the flight (for a fee, of course) but you may be able to save by putting more than one in a board bag, as long as the bag weighs less than 50 pounds.

JetBlue Airways: This one won’t save you any money, but it could save you time and the hassle of dealing with bags. JetBlue works with Bags VIP, which will deliver your bags from the airport to your home, hotel or other final destination for a small fee. See ya, baggage claim lines!

Southwest Airlines: Have to switch your flight? Southwest is the only major airline that doesn’t charge a fee to change your ticket. You’ll still have to pay any difference in the base price of the ticket, so make sure you find one that’s the same, or close, to the original price.

Spirit Airlines: Print your boarding pass at home at no cost. Otherwise, you’ll pay $2 to print a pass at a kiosk or $10 to have an agent print a pass.

United Airlines: Avoid a service charge for booking your ticket by doing it yourself online. Otherwise, you’ll pay $25 to have someone help you on the phone, $30 at a city ticket office or $50 in person at the airport.

Frequent flyer programs

Most airlines offer similar reward programs where you rack up miles with flights (either based on amount spent or distance traveled). Some also reward you for shopping with their partners or using their affiliated credit cards. You can redeem the earned miles for another flight, upgrade or other rewards.

With most programs, there are different tiers and the higher you are in the program, the more miles and perks you get. Technically, all of these programs are free to join, but think about it — flights aren’t cheap and you have to book a flight to get rewards. Let’s take a look at the basic way to earn miles with each airline.

Alaska Airlines: With the Mileage Plan loyalty program, you will earn miles based on miles traveled. Plus, if you are a Mileage Plan member and live in Alaska, you can join the free Club 49 program. This gets you some added perks, including two free checked bags for each passenger on Club 49 member reservations on flights to/from Alaska.

Allegiant Airlines: Allegiant does not have a basic frequent flyer program — only Allegiant World MasterCard holders can earn myAllegiant points.

American Airlines: AAdvantage members earn miles based on the amount spent on a ticket.

Delta Airlines: SkyMiles rewards are based on dollars spent for a flight.

Frontier Airlines: EarlyReturns members earn miles based on miles traveled.

Hawaiian Airlines: With HawaiianMiles, you earn miles based on miles traveled. Plus, if you’re traveling between islands, you can save on checked bag fees.

JetBlue Airways: TrueBlue members earn at least three points per dollar spent on your flight — that amount multiplies when booking online.

Southwest Airlines: Rapid Rewards members earn points for every dollar spent, which will be multiplied by either 12, 10 or six based on the fare type.

Spirit Airlines: FREE SPIRIT members earn various percentages of miles flown based on their tier level. Note: you cannot earn miles on flights to and from San Salvador, Bahamas.

United Airlines: MileagePlus members earn miles for each dollar spent on a flight.

Virgin America: Elevate Gold and Silver programs ended Dec. 31, 2017 and members had their points moved to the Mileage Plan program at a rate of one point per 1.3 miles.

Need to know more?

Still have questions or want to talk with an agent about booking a flight? Reach out to your particular airline, which you can find the numbers for below. (Remember, booking online may save you from paying a fee.)

Alaska Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-800-252-7522. For baggage-related issues, call 1-877-815-8253. You can also text questions to 82008.

Allegiant Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-702-505-888. For baggage-related issues, call 1-866-719-3910.

American Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-800-433-7300. For baggage-related issues, call 1-800-535-5225.

Delta Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-800-221-1212. For baggage-related issues, call 1-800-325-8224.

Frontier Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-800-921-8101. For baggage-related issues, call 1-801-401-9000.

Hawaiian Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-877-426-4537. For baggage-related issues, call 1-866-389-6654.

JetBlue Airways: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-800-538-2583. For baggage-related issues, call 1-800-538-2583.

Southwest Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-800-435-9792. For baggage-related issues, call 1-888-202-1024.

Spirit Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-801-401-2222. For baggage-related issues, call 1-877-888-5926.

United Airlines: For reservations or general customer service, call 1-800-864-8331. For baggage-related issues, call 1-800-335-2247.

Virgin America: See contact information for Alaska Airlines.

Image: AleksandarNakic