Excess baggage fares are a particularly frustrating experience for any traveller to face. It’s like someone decided that packing for your trip and trying to catch your flight on time somehow wasn’t stressful enough and so they needed to add more hassle with that dreaded “luggage weighing” which could then potentially pack an expensive excess baggage fine.
- Read up on your airline’s policy: While navigating their complicated baggage policies is quite a pain, you must know how the airlines function. The baggage fees vary according to the date of travel, number of bags, and most importantly, bag weight and size. If you’ve secured a reasonable plane ticket, not knowing how to manage your luggage can result in serious baggage charges.
- Put heavy things into pocket: This will reduce the weight of your luggage and you will be prevented to pay extra charge. Things like perfume, camera, tablet or number of coins can be kept into the pockets.
- Make sure your luggage is within the size limits. Carry-on luggage must fit into the overhead compartment on a plane, and a personal item must fit under the seat in front of your feet. Check your airline’s website before you depart for its specific size regulations. Most airlines have a receptacle at the check-in counter or gate that you can slide your carry-on luggage into to verify that it is within the size limits. Keep in mind that your airline may technically have a weight limit for carry-on luggage, though crews rarely take the time to weigh carry on luggage.
- Wear extra layers of clothes: This will reduce your bag weight and no one gonna point you out for this. You can strip of them after getting on board. As soon as you get on board, you can strip of course to your original outfit but technically, no one can say anything about the fact that you just wore your extra clothes on you instead of having it in your luggage and more importantly – they can’t charge you the extra fare as your bag weight should be much more in line. It’s a great way to carry that heavy coat or leather jacket.
- Join a frequent flyer program: This is a great one for those who travel frequently. You can save on baggage fees by joining your favourite airline’s frequent flyer program. Essentially, all major airlines offer some kind of loyalty program that includes baggage fee discounts or waived fees, especially members who have racked up a certain number of miles each year. If that’s not for you, consider investing in an airline credit card that come against an annual fees. Do the math and see whether the amount is worth the waived baggage fees and other perks.
- Use a backpack instead of a suitcase carry on: Airline staff always expect that backpacks are light however suitcase carry on luggage are seen as the containers where heavy items are packed in. The thing is, a small suitcase and a decent size backpack can pack pretty much the same amount of stuff. Suitcases are rigid and can waste a lot of space if you’re not travelling with just rectangular bricks that fit the suitcase exactly whereas backpacks are more flexible in nature and hence you can cram things a lot more effectively into backpacks.
- Check in early: Airlines are more lenient with people who check in early with their luggage carrying some “extra weight” than they are with the check-in counters’ latecomers. There is probably a quota as to how much extra they can get away with without charging and you’re more likely to skip that excess fee if you arrive before that quota is all used up.