Avoiding Baggage Fees

Jonah Andersson January 19, 2012
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One of the biggest complaints you hear from travelers is that the amount of fees the airlines are charging is getting out of control. The most annoying of these fees is baggage fees. After spending a lot of money on the airline tickets themselves, the airlines get you for another $15-$25 each way for your first bag. The price of checking a second bag can be as high as $50. If you are traveling with a pair of skis or golf clubs in addition to your checked bag, you could end up paying $150 in addition to your ticket! These costs start to skyrocket when you are traveling as a family. Fortunately, there are ways to save this precious money by optimally packing to fit more into your carry-on.


There are two things you need when packing for the family to minimize baggage fees: time and a scale. Plan to pack the evening before your trip, especially if you are traveling as a family. Have everyone pack as they normal would into their own suitcases. Next, weigh each of the suitcases and determine which one is the lightest. Remove the contents from this suitcase and place them into the other suitcases. Repeat this process until you have all of your bags right below the 50 pound line.

If your family has 2 bags that are at their maximum weight and an extra bag that is less than 30 pounds, try squeezing the contents into your carry-on. Each member of the family is allowed to bring one carry-on and a personal item, so try stuffing the contents into smaller suitcases or a couple of carry-on bags. If you are traveling with a backpack, you probably have an extra compartment or two that you can stuff with items from your suitcase. Smaller items such as socks, boxers, sunglasses, and flip flops usually fit well into smaller, unfilled compartments of your carry-on bags. I’d offer this same advice to someone who has a suitcase that is a few pounds over the 50 pound limit. You shouldn’t have any problems moving a few pounds into your carry-on to avoid paying overweight baggage fees (which are sometimes more expensive than the fee for checking a bag).
My last bit of advice is to carry your jackets on board the plane with you. Many like the convenience of packing their jackets into their suitcase, but jackets are heavy and add a lot of weight to your bag. Although it might be an inconvenience to carry your jackets through security, you can save the fees of having to pack an extra suitcase. Of course, if you are traveling solo or have the room in your bags, feel free to pack them at will.
I hope this advice helps you to save money on baggage fees on your next vacation. Although it might seem like a hassle, you can save a lot of money on baggage fees and spend it on more enjoyable purchases at your final destination. Or if you want to avoid all checked baggage fees, you can fly Southwest Airlines!



Bio: Adam enjoys helping customers find the right travel accessories they need for any vacation! When he isn’t busy at work, he enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants.

Category: Travel Guides-Tips
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Jonah Andersson

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