You're not alone if you've approached the Airport check in counter paranoid that your bulging suitcase is overweight and you'll be charged a hefty fee by the stern official alias “baggage police”. The result..those holiday bargains end up costing you megabucks!
Once it seemed so easy to squeeze all but the kitchen sink into your not one but two cases and noone seemed to mind if you were overweight-your bags, that is. Those days are gone and as airlines make seemingly unbreakable rules it's as if they're out to squeeze a profit from that one tiny over weight kilo. On the other hand, I have experienced rare exceptions to the rule when a sympathetic attendant has turned a blind eye to my temporary lack of judgement.
So why so cut throat? My travel industry experience tells me that as travellers demanded lower airfares the airlines obliged but at what expense to them..and us? They were victims of 21st century spiralling aviation costs so to stay afloat(or airbound) they needed to recoup their losses. A solution was to tighten the rules regarding overweight luggage and introduce higher fees for those who couldn't or didn't wish to heed the expert's words of wisdom....TRAVEL LIGHT.
One solution is that you can travel up front (Premium,Business or First Class) where the the baggage allowance is more generous. If that's out of reach do your homework before rushing to the Airport with your hastily backed bags.
To make it more confusing Airlines have different rules. For the latest either check with your travel agent or refer to the airline's website. If travelling long haul,say to Europe, when changing planes/airlines the baggage rules may vary. However, if it's a partner airline it's usually more consistent. A trap that many fall into is when they're travelling to the U.S.A as although your trans-pacific carrier may allow 23kgs but when you connect to a U.S. domestic carrier you may be charged an additional fee per checked in bag.
Of course you can either choose to check in your bags or buy a cheaper fare which restricts you to taking a mere carry on bag...conditions apply here too. Your bag must be no more than X dimensions and X weight and compact enough to fit under your seat or in the storage locker above.There are reminders through out the Airport and you can be randomly checked by staff. It's embarressing(and a hassle) if you're then asked to turn around and check your bag in..and pay a fee. Be realistic when choosing the no frills option that only allows something the size of a gym bag. Fine if heading to Fiji for the weekend but not ideal if you're off to a colder climate and need heavy winter woolies.
The other fee producer is sports equipment..bicycles,surfboards,skis and so on. They're definitely on the “extra fee” list so take that into consideration when choosing your airline.
- If you need an extra luggage allowance look at pre paying a reduced fee on line.
- Before leaving home check the baggage fees of those “no frills” airlines.
- My Nana's advice - roll up your clothing when packing so you can squeeze in more treasures.
To book your well planned adventures visit: www.annevandyke.com