Log InJoin 

8 Tips to Save on Baggage Fees

8 Tips to Save on Baggage Fees

Everything about flying on an airline has gone up in price thanks to less competition, increased jet fuel prices and of course, baggage fees. There still are a few opportunities to save money when taking more than one bag with you on vacation but you have to be smart and work the system to your advantage.

1. Weigh Your Bags

In addition to standard baggage fees there is an additional penalty if your bags weigh too much. United has penalties starting at $100 for bags greater than 50 pounds but less than 70 and another hundred dollars for bags over 70 pounds. Avoid this additional penalty by weighing your bags prior to leaving home so you don't get caught off guard.

2. Use Carry-Ons

Many airlines will allow you to take one carry-on piece of baggage with you so take advantage of this by using a duffel bag or backpack to carry extra items. This is mainly to accommodate travelers who take purses and briefcases but nothing says you can't carry whatever you want, within reason of course.

3. Check It In

Airlines learned a long time ago that passengers struggling to haul two or three pieces of luggage into the airline cabin is bad for everyone. Many will offer free baggage services if you check them in at the gate. This one step alone can save you the trouble of dragging luggage everywhere and paying extra for the privilege.

4. Utilize Free Items

Child safety devices such as car seats and medical devices are exempt from baggage fees. If you place these items in a checked in bag, use the extra space to store a couple of additional personal items you may not have room elsewhere in your luggage.

5. Wear It First

Even though it may not be convenient, some things can be worn instead of packing in your luggage. This can help free space for additional items and avoid using an extra bag for items like sweaters or large jackets. This is especially helpful for jackets with many pockets which can hold electronics and other devices you may not want to check in.

6. Upgrade Your Ticket

You may be in a situation where the cost of upgrading your airline ticket could be less than the additional costs for checking two or three pieces of luggage. If you have an opportunity to upgrade to first class for $100 each way but it increases your baggage allowance then you can save money on the difference between the two costs.

7. Shop Around

Airlines are just as competitive as any other industry and carriers like Southwest and JetBlue have made baggage fees a priority in their advertising such as the "Bags Fly Free" campaign. Take advantage of the free market and select carriers which offer discounts or have policies for free baggage or lower prices on bags.

8. Get An Airline Credit Card

Many of the national carriers offer credit cards which may entitle card holders to take advantage of checked bag fee waivers. They will also sometimes waive the credit card annual fee which means after one trip you already benefited from having an airline credit card.

Image by: whatatravisty