How to pack light and Avoid Baggage Fees during flights

 

Airline fees can quickly add up. Here are some tips and tricks for avoiding the irritating charges most airlines apply. Baggage fees are never welcomed and most of the time unexpected. Airline fees like these can rapidly add up and derail the work you put in to find the most cost-conscious flight.

Here are some tips and tricks for avoiding irritating fees, because most airlines charge for checked luggage.

1. Choose Wisely

Fly airlines that go easy on fees, and punish the ones that charge for bags. Commit your valuable consumer dollars to the traveler-friendly businesses. If an airline charges for just one checked bag, don’t book with them. It’s rarely worth the $10 or $20 savings on a cheaper flight if you’ll have to eventually pay for your carry-on or your checked bags.

2. Read the Rules

Even the airlines with good deals still have complex rules. Their allowances vary by destination, class of service, and operating carrier. Sometimes the airline staff themselves don’t even completely understand the rules, and stopovers and transfers can make things even more complicated. Dedicate some time to thoroughly read through the airline’s online policies, and print out the relevant pages in case you need to clarify for a misinformed agent.

3. Get Strategic

Armed with the airline’s policies and your scale, maximize the effect of the free checked bags. Every family member doesn’t necessarily need every item in a personal bag. Spread heavy items around and distribute the weight so that no one bag exceeds the weight limit. You’ll avoid incurring the dreaded overweight bag fee and needing extra bags.

4. Don’t Blame Your Equipment

Invest in lightweight, properly-sized luggage to maximize both your carry-on allowance as well as any checked bags allowance you have. Heavy luggage can eat up a lot of your weight allowance, so spending a little more on lightweight luggage is worth it in the long run.

5. Put the Heavy Stuff in Your Carry-On

Most airlines have a weight limit for carry-on baggage, but while all checked bags get weighed, most ticket managers don’t take the time to examine bags and enforce weight limits for carry-ons. So if you have some dense items that will put you over the limit on checked bags, try to fit them into your carry-on and take advantage of the fact that they’ll look the other way.

7. Wear the Bulky Stuff

Jackets and sweaters don’t count as carry-ons as long as you’re trying them. Even if you’re departing from or landing in a warm climate, wear your bulky cold-weather clothes if you can. You’ll save space and weight, and then you can just take off your coat once you’re at your seat. Think about shoes too, since you can garb the bulky boots that don’t quite fit in your carry-on.

9. Take Advantage of Free Items

Airlines don’t promote it, but advanced travelers know that there are certain items that are always free, like children’s strollers, car seats, and certain medical items. When I travel with my child, her car seat goes in large duffel, and they never seem to notice or care when I pack other items below it. While you can’t get a free bag just by packing non-medical items with an important medical device, knowing that you can check the device might free up space in your carry-ons.

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