Poll: How will you avoid airline luggage fees?

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Thread: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

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  1. #1
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    Default Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Many airlines are now charging travelers to check a second (or even a first) bag on domestic flights. How do you plan to avoid these luggage fees?

    Related Story
    Should You Check or Ship Your Bag?
    Last edited by SarahS; 06-25-2008 at 05:25 PM.
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    As much as I'd like to believe I could be a carry-on-only gal...I know I'm not! So I voted for "suck it up." After all, I have been known to travel with a bag just for my shoes (I am certain they don't reduce fuel efficiency all THAT much, right?!)...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    I am flying Southwest and will be bring 2 checked bags and one carry on. Although they don't charge for the 2 checked bags they have really reduced the size and weight guidelines. I don't think the charge of $25.00 is to much for the 3rd bag.

    jachot

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    As it is, I have a CPAP, which we all know goes on board. It may be only five pounds, but try lugging that thing on a trip and see if it feels like five pounds. I'll just have to minimize the blow to my wallet by only checking one bag.
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    I haven't checked anything for several years now. If I can't carry it, I won't bring it.

    One forthcoming exception: We're traveling abroad this summer and clearing customs at JFK and then taking a domestic flight to MIA. So in order to bring our duty free liquor home (hint: If you take 2 liters instead of the permitted free one liter, customs will almost never ask you to pay extra) we'll have to put it in a bag and check it from JFK to MIA.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    I am a carry-on girl kinda gal, whether I'm being charged or not. I *hate* waiting at the baggage carousel and will do anything to avoid it!
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Coming off a 50-day cruise in San Francisco and having to fly home to Florida, I can use any suggestions. I'm even considering the possibility of even cancelling the cruise. I've already experienced the humility of emptying out clothes from a suitcase at the check-in counter to get to the required weight.
    Joko Joan






  8. #8
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Joko Joan,

    You may find the following stories helpful:

    What Not to Pack
    Packing Tips

    Good luck!
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    So far everything has been fine with me, as the airlines that I have used within the past couple weeks, accept one piece of luggage without charge, and the other I carried on.

    If I find that my luggage (after purchasing items at my destination) is heavier than when I first boarded, I will probably leave out a few items that I really don't need when I first boarded the plane, such as toiletries, clothes items that I have worn for years that I no longer need, so my luggage will weigh about the same.

    brneyes

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Great Discussion!
    For more information I use http://www.CompareAirlineFees.com and their Airline Fee Comparison Tool to compare airlinefees & flight prices to find the 'true' best ticket price.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Having just completed an exhausting 8-flight trip to Russia, with side trips by land to other countries, I offer the following....

    The standard weight limit for carry-on SUITCASES overseas is 10 kilograms - 22 pounds - and they do weigh them! This was true of both Air France (which actually allows 26 pounds) and Aeroflot (which sticks to the 22 pound limit) If the suitcase weighs in below the limit, they have to allow you to carry it. Insist on it, and make sure they know it's a carryon before they toss it on the checked-baggage belt.

    How to beat this? Simple. Take a good size carryon "personal item" and put all your heavier items in it. When you approach the counter, slip it over your shoulder or around your neck. They'll weigh your carryon suitcase but not the carryon item. My suitcase weighed in at about 19 to 20 pounds. My carryon, which was loaded with assorted supplies, food, books, museum catalogs, etc. probably weighed at least 30 pounds, but they didn't know that and didn't have to.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardNika View Post
    Having just completed an exhausting 8-flight trip to Russia, with side trips by land to other countries, I offer the following....

    The standard weight limit for carry-on SUITCASES overseas is 10 kilograms - 22 pounds - and they do weigh them! This was true of both Air France (which actually allows 26 pounds) and Aeroflot (which sticks to the 22 pound limit) If the suitcase weighs in below the limit, they have to allow you to carry it. Insist on it, and make sure they know it's a carryon before they toss it on the checked-baggage belt.

    How to beat this? Simple. Take a good size carryon "personal item" and put all your heavier items in it. When you approach the counter, slip it over your shoulder or around your neck. They'll weigh your carryon suitcase but not the carryon item. My suitcase weighed in at about 19 to 20 pounds. My carryon, which was loaded with assorted supplies, food, books, museum catalogs, etc. probably weighed at least 30 pounds, but they didn't know that and didn't have to.
    Great tip! I always live in fear that they'll weigh my carry-on, since I never check bags and so my carry-on is always pretty heavy...
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    I'm surprised the liquor industry hasn't yet got wind of this problem. Since the requirements to restrict liquids as carry-ons went into effect, I don't buy specialty liquors any more. When I traveled (before), I used to like to bring home something unique from the country I was visiting (grappa from Italy, Black Balsam from Latvia). Because liquor bottles generally break easily, I used to carry them in my carry-on luggage, so I knew all the time what treatment the bottle was getting. Now, I either have to ship the stuff home (expensive), or check my luggage and risk the bottle being broken (also, incurring more costs). This is ridiculous, I wish the airlines would get rid of this !@#$% liquid restriction.

    I will do almost anything to avoid checking luggage. Cost aside, there's just too much waiting around and delays involved in checked luggage. Not to mention potential lost luggage.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    The airline we're going with is limiting us to 15kg for 2 weeks in Cuba! I am intending on taking a near empty carry on suitcase (one small enough for cabins) as well as checked luggage, then buying toiletries airside at the airport (after security!) So we get the extra allowance without forking out!




  15. #15
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    There are only two ways to get liquor onto the plane and have your own drinks instead of paying through the nose. One is to buy duty free liquor in the security area and then either carry it on board or have it handed to you as you board. But who wants to have to cut open the p;ackage and open a big bottle in front of everyone?

    Here's the second way. Go to the liquor store and buy a bunch of those little airline-type bottles of booze. You know, te ones that cost $5-$6 on board and 99 cents at the liquor store. Put them in your quart-size transparent ziplock-type along with your 3-ounces-or-under toiletries, etc. Yes, I checked with TSA. No limit on how many (I've carried 5) No problem if they're glass, either. But this might not work on other countries' airlines - they have their own rules.

  16. #16
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    Default Poll of the Week Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Ive tried EXPEDIA.COM AND TRAVELOCITY.COM but after that , if you were to contact the airline directly , they give you the same price . You then save the 5 fee from the dot coms above.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Those sites have stopped charging the $5 fee but they may resume in the future.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    And now SW charges for baggage, I believe?
    “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” - Fitzhugh Mullan

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyLuvsTravl View Post
    And now SW charges for baggage, I believe?
    Hmm, I don't think so -- they're still the only airline I know of that doesn't charge for a first or second bag. They did recently raise their fee for a third bag, which I think is fair.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Yes, I believe SW has a fee for the "3" bag as someone mentioned. I believe they are also charging now a fee for "oversized" luggage, or if they are over a certain weight. I think the first "2" pieces of luggage are free.

    brneyes

    P.S. I am taking SW for the first time next week, so I'll see what the "seats/leg room" are all about.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Two suggestions. If you always carry your baggage, as I do, keep you bag smaller rather than larger. If a flight as full (aren't they all these days?) airline reps will often come around and inform people with bags they fit the carryon specs but are still on the large side that they'll have to be checked at the gate. If your bag is a bit smaller than average, they'll either ignore you, or back off when you make a fuss.

    Also, make sure your schedule doesn't include any commuter flights or those 50 seater mini-jets. If it does, take two REALLY small bags, one for their tiny overhead bin and another for under the seat.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    When you home exchange, you do not need a lot of stuff. I went to Finland on a home exchange for a month with 5 changes of clothing with a couple of extra tops and a jacket with a zip out lining. The lining served as a sweatshirt as well. I wore EVERYTHING but the lining. I bought only one pair of walking shoes (black New Balance Walkers) and one pair of kayak shoes which also served me well in a campground I had to stay at before going whitewater rafting.

    I am getting better and better at this. The only problem is when you are on a business trip and have to bring fancy clothing and multiple pairs of shoes. I did regret not having hiking boots with me for the two short hikes I took, but you make compromises on those sorts of things when you go a long distance.

    Having just cleaned out the house on ebay to prepare to downsize, I was not about to start collecting "things" again. I did buy some jewelry, but otherwise the purchases amounted to next to nothing and were not a problem in the one suitcase I checked. I even had room left. The suitcase had to be checked because it was not so small it could fit in the overhead.

    It is the business trips that are the killers on clothing--and, of course, if you vacation on a fancy cruise where people dress for dinner. I don't take those sorts of cruise vacations because on vacation I want casual.

  23. #23
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    Unhappy Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Be very careful when shipping stuff to/from remote locations. I shipped my 65 lb luggage & ski bag from Vail, Colorado to Brooklyn, NY via UPS. The price I got online was for a total of 90 bucks which is close to what it would have cost me on the airlines. When I got the final bill, another hundred bucks was tacked on for a number of add-ons not mentioned when I booked online. Because my luggage and skis were not in a box an additional $8 each was tacked on. Then overweight charges, extra handling and remote location charges were also added. FEDEX would have been cheaper but they won't pick up at the time you want in such locations. I do send it out via FedEx and its cheaper.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    I would stick with the good old US Postal Service. On a visit to my youngest daughter in L.A., she browbeat me into going out with her and buying a lot of new clothes and shoes. There was way too much for a carry on bag. She said she'd send me the rest, and she did. It filled a carton about the size of the average medium sized supermarket carton. The cost, for shipping from Calif. to Fla. was $28 and change. Not bad.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Poll of the Week: Avoiding Airline Luggage Fees

    Hi all,
    Here I am a new member in this forum.
    This is really a good topic for discussion.

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