Turkish Airlines Baggage Fees: How to Avoid Them and Save Money

Turkish Airlines has a generous baggage allowance, but if you overpack, it will cost you. Here are some easy ways to avoid those fees.
Last updated Oct 25, 2021 | By Erin Hurd
Turkish Airlines Baggage Fees

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It’s not one of the “big three” American airlines, and it’s not a low-cost carrier with catchy advertising. But did you know that Turkish Airlines takes the title for flying to the most countries of any airline in the world (126!) and more than 300 destinations?

If you’ve flown Turkish Airlines, you know they offer a stellar experience for both business and economy travelers. Plus their lounges are arguably the best in the business — chock full of delicious food, on-demand ironing services, and even massages.

If you haven’t flown Turkish Airlines yet, it’s a fantastic Star Alliance airline to try on your next trip. Here are four ways to save money on your baggage fees when you’re flying Turkish Airlines including using the best airline credit cards.

In this article

What is Turkish Airlines’ baggage policy?

The baggage rules for Turkish Airlines flights are a bit complex, so make sure you read them closely before your trip.

In terms of allowable carry-ons, the policy on Turkish Airlines is pretty standard. All passengers are permitted to bring one personal item like a purse or a backpack totally free. If you’re flying economy, you’ll also get one free carry-on included with your ticket. This carry-on luggage may not weigh more than 8 kg (17 lbs), and may not measure more than 55 x 40x 23 cm. If you’re flying business class, you can bring two carry-on bags of this size and weight.

If you’re flying with an infant or a child, they’ll also get a free carry-on bag. Plus, you can bring your stroller for free, as long as you check it at the gate before you board. They’ll have it waiting for you as soon as you land.

The checked baggage allowances on Turkish are a little tricky. Depending on where you’re flying, you’ll either be restricted by the number of pieces you’re allowed to check, or based solely on how much the bags weigh.

If you’re flying to and from the following countries, you’ll be restricted to two pieces of checked luggage: Angola, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Japan, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Senegal, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, the United States of America, and Venezuela.

An Economy ticket holder is allowed to check two bags with a maximum weight of 23 kg (50 lbs) each, and that measure no more than 115cm (height + width + depth). A Business ticket holder is permitted two bags that are a bit larger and heavier — up to 32 kg (70 lbs) each, and up to 158cm in total size. Turkish Airlines refers to this as the “piece concept”.

For domestic flights within Turkey, or if you’re flying an international flight to any country not listed above, you’re free to bring as many bags as you like — as long as they don’t exceed the weight limits. Turkish refers to this as the “weight concept”. A Business class ticket entitles you to a 30kg (66 lbs) baggage weight allowance, while an Economy class ticket gets you 20kg (44 lbs) of free baggage allowance. (If you’re flying economy within Turkey, the allowance depends on the promotional fare class you booked: EcoFly gets 15kg (33 lbs), ExtraFly gets 20kg (44 lbs), and PrimeFly gets 25kg (55 lbs).

What happens if you go over the limits?

If you’re traveling on Turkish Airlines with more than the allowable limits, don’t worry. You can pay an excess baggage fee and be on your way. Since Turkish has piece concepts for some routes and weight concepts for other routes, the extra fee you’ll pay will depend on where you’re flying to and from, if you’re flying any segments on partner airlines, and whether or not you have a stopover.

For example, if you’re flying from the U.S. and have excess baggage, you can expect to pay between $160 and $400 per additional piece. If you have a stopover, you’ll pay an extra fee between $10-$180 per piece of baggage. If you’re flying international routes that go by the Turkish weight concept, you’ll pay between 8 and 32 EUR per kg that your bag is over, depending on what region you’re flying to. Some specific pieces like musical instruments and sports equipment won’t be subject to these extra baggage fees.

The good news is that even though these rules are a little complex, Turkish Airlines makes it easy for you to figure out exactly how much you should expect to pay. They have a handy baggage calculator tool where you can input your flight booking and get detailed Turkish Airlines baggage allowance information. You can even prepay for your extra bags online so you don’t have to worry about it when you check-in at the airport.

How to avoid checked bag fees on Turkish Airlines

Let’s be honest: no one (except the airlines) likes baggage fees! Even when you get a generous amount of free bag allowance from a carrier like Turkish Airlines, there are times when you need a little more space. Here are a few ideas to make sure you won’t pay any baggage fees when you’re flying Turkish.

  1. Stick to the limits
  2. This seems like a no-brainer, but the absolute easiest way to escape any baggage fees is to stay within the free limits.

    Since Turkish allows one personal item, one carry-on, and two checked bags free on most Economy tickets, you’ll have a good amount of room to fit everything you need for many trips. This is especially true if you pack strategically and use one of our favorite carry-ons for every budget!

  3. Join the Miles&Smiles program
  4. If you have any Turkish flights in your future, be sure to sign up for their loyalty program called Miles&Smiles. You can earn miles in the program when you fly not only on Turkish, but on any Star Alliance carrier. You’ll even earn 1,000 welcome miles when you take your first Turkish flight, and it’s completely free to join.

    When you reach a minimum of 25,000 Status Miles, you’ll earn Elite status in the Miles&Smiles program. And Elite status earns you extra free baggage allowance! You’ll earn 10kg (22 lbs) in additional baggage allowance when you reach Classic Plus status; 20kg (44 lbs) extra when you hit Elite status; and 25k (55 lbs) when you earn the highest tier Elite Plus status in the program.

  5. Buy a premium ticket
  6. Similar to most airlines, the higher the fare class ticket you buy on Turkish, the more perks you’ll get. Like we discussed above, a Business Class ticket entitles you to 30kg (66 lbs) of total baggage weight, while an Economy Class ticket gets you substantially less. There are three different levels of Economy Class: EcoFly, ExtraFly, and PrimeFly. Baggage allowances on these levels range between 15kg (33 lbs) and 25 kg (55 lbs) for free.

    If you need to travel on Turkish with many large or heavy bags, consider purchasing a premium ticket to wipe out those fees (and get extra perks).

  7. Use a general travel rewards credit card
  8. Since most of us can’t get a Turkish Miles&Smiles credit card — only Turkish residents can apply — signing up for one of the best travel credit cards instead is the best bet for erasing excess baggage fees.

    A Capital One Venture Rewards Card is a great option for “erasing” travel expenses. With this card, you’ll earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases. Use it to charge your excess Turkish Airlines baggage fees, and then use the Capital One Purchase Eraser to erase the charge with a statement credit. You’ll get a fixed value of one cent per Venture mile this way.

    The Discover it Miles Credit card comes with another easy baggage fee “eraser” option. This card earns a straight 1.5X miles per dollar on all purchases. Plus, it’s $0 annual fee is attractive. But here’s the kicker: Discover will match the miles you earn in the first year as a new cardmember.

Card name Rewards rate Annual fee Best for...
Capital One Venture Rewards Card 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases $95 Easy redemption and purchase eraser capability
Discover it Miles Credit Card 1.5X miles per dollar on all purchases $0 Generous first year match

Incredibly Flexible Rewards

Intro Offer

60,000 miles

Annual Fee


Rewards Rate

up to 5X miles

Benefits and Drawbacks


  • 60,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • No foreign transaction fees


  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases

Bottom line

Even though Turkish may be a lesser-known airline, it’s one that’s worth getting on your radar. They have a large global footprint, a nice product with friendly staff, and did we mention the lounges?!

If you’re flying Turkish and know you’re going to exceed the free baggage allowance, look to these solutions to help ease the cost burden. Plus, these credit cards are versatile and can help erase fees not just on Turkish but on any airline you choose. Güle güle and enjoy your trip!

Our #1 Travel Card

Intro Offer

60,000 points

Annual Fee


Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Benefits and Drawbacks


  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits


  • Has annual fee
  • Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Author Details

Erin Hurd Erin has spent over a decade showing readers unique ways to make the most from their investments and personal finances. She’s a writer and editor whose work has been featured in many large investment publications, including International Living and The Daily Reckoning. She's passionate about harnessing the power of credit card rewards to travel the world. When she's not writing, she's planning her next adventure for her family of four using points and miles. She helps lead a large social media group dedicated to award travel and thrives on teaching others how to use points and miles to take dream trips.