Ways to Avoid Baggage Fees, For the Non-Minimalist
Naturally, packing light would be the best way to escape on a dreamy holiday, without spending a fortune on the luggage extra fees. However, traveling with the bare minimum is not the best option for many of us, especially if we are traveling for an extended period of time. This means, we need the best tips on ways to avoid baggage fees.
Or there are some people that don’t feel like they can pack their things in a Marie Kondo way. Even those who master the art of packing can feel overwhelmed when going on a vacation with the whole family.
If fitting everything into a single bag is not your style, then you will probably need to know the best money-saving baggage tips. Want to find more about traveling light and smart? Just scroll down.
Airline Baggage Fees - The Big Business
Incidental airline fees represent one of the most important business for most of the major airlines all around the world. The checked bag fees are one of the reasons for airline profitability.
Moreover, airline companies prefer to add these services after booking the flight, this movement bringing somewhere around $5 billion per year alone. Impressive, right?
No wonder why since the very first months of 2020, there have been some airlines that have boosted these fees for checked bags. Safe to say, nobody would like to add somewhere around $50 extra for a domestic flight.
Usually, the checked luggage has become quite a good revenue stream. In other words, airline companies enjoy squeezing more money from travelers for their luggage, whether it is about a simple backpack or a heavy suitcase.
If you want to avoid paying double for a simple airline ticket, keep on reading the following tips that most airlines probably don’t want their passengers to know about.
Tips for Lowering and Avoid Baggage Fees
Luggage fees are never good news, and usually unexpected. Moreover, airline fees can even double the value of your airline ticket. Therefore, the effort to find the most cost-conscious flight can be worthless.
Here are our favorite tips and tricks for avoiding those annoying fees most airlines are charging you.
1. Compare the Price of Carry-on to Checked Bags
The very first thing you can do is to compare the carryon bags with the checked ones. Usually, the carryon bags can end up being more expensive than checked ones.
By making a good comparison it might become more economical to pack two smaller suitcases, rather than trying to compress everything in a huge suitcase.
From our experience, many airlines will prefer to offer great deals for smaller suitcases, or for checking two or more bags than paying for a larger one. Just make sure you check their policy.
2. See If The Airline Has a Baggage Club
It may be a benefit to check your bags at a discounted rate. Some airlines usually will reward their members with different types of discounted baggage fees. To benefit from this reward, you might need to enroll in a flier program.
The best thing to do is checking the baggage policies, as airline companies have different rules regarding baggage allowance and fees.
Often, the policy in this direction will be dependent on where the flight goes, or from where it comes from. Usually, these conditions will be specified in the ticket information online.
For instance, on short-haul internal flights, (of course, there are some exceptions), the checked baggage will not be complimentary when it comes to most of the economy tickets. As such, you might need to pay extra baggage to the ticket price.
However, once enrolling in a premium traveling program, and holding the elite status, then you might benefit from the advantages of a baggage club on long-haul flights.
For long-haul and transoceanic flights, checked baggage may be included as standard service.
3. Mail Suitcase Ahead of Time with a Baggage Shipping Service
Sometimes, when you have lots of heavy bags, it’s better to ship the luggage pre-travel. This might be a very good option for saving money and avoiding extra baggage fees. There are lots of delivery services that come with this option of shipping large items.
Maybe you go on a ski vacation, or you need heavy sports equipment to carry. Calling for a shipping service might be the most economical choice.
Here are two of the best mail companies to choose from for sending your luggage.
The Luggage Club
One of your very first choices should be The Luggage Club, which is a great door-to-door luggage shipping service. If you are a sports lover, you have golf club shipping, snowboarding shipping, as well as ski shipping.
One of the main perks of this service is that the Luggage Club offers its service to over 220 countries. Moreover, you can be sure that the delivery time is all guaranteed.
So whether you want to send your luggage urgently, and you want the Luggage Club to pick it up from your home, you can be sure that The Luggage Club will ship them on time. The whole experience itself is pleasant, hassle-free, and no-worries guaranteed.
Why Shipping Your Baggage?
Most of the time, paying for the on-board luggage will cost you much more money than calling for a shipping service. The Luggage Club offers a great alternative, a quick baggage service. The company promises your shipment will always be on time.
The Luggage Club covers shipped bags for $500, and the guarantee will cover all those incidental costs that might appear during the shipping.
How To Plan Booking
If you want to send your luggage using the shipping service, booking it is simple: you can reserve it by phone, tablet, or smartphone.
Luggage will be picked up from your front door, you just need to specify this, depending on your schedule. The good news, once the luggage is picked-up, you can run luggage free to the airport.
After bags have been collected, you can access the predictive tracking systems, so you will be in constant contact with the destination of your items.
One of the main advantages of this service is that you can ship your luggage to more than 200 countries, and in case your things are lost, you have full money back plus the $500 guarantee.
Another great service you can use for shipping your luggage is Lugless. This also offers a service door to door shipping solution, along with UPS & FEDEX drop-off. Great to use for sending boxes, sports equipment, as well as all kinds of excess baggage. You can deliver your things all around the US, with less money than you would normally spend on airline transportation.
You choose the date you want your luggage to be collected, then “Lugless” will do everything to take care of your baggage on the day you selected.
Lugless will ship your things throughout the 50 US States. Moreover, you can track the luggage online, step by step.
One of the main advantages of using Lugless is that you will be kept notified regarding the delivery and more.
Lugless says that there are 2 different on-time guarantees. If your luggage is shipped on the scheduled send date and does not arrive by the end of the day on the selected delivery date, then you may be eligible for a LugLess Account Credit
4. Pay for Bags At The Time of Booking
The truth is many people cannot pack all their things into a small size suitcase unless they need to go for a single day trip. As such, are you able to keep your luggage minimal? If not…
Pay them in advance
As soon as you book your flight online, it’s always wiser to check your luggage as well. This will save you lots of money, as many of the airline companies would charge around $38 and $40 for all carry-on luggage if you do the online booking.
If not, at the airport, you will pay the same amount of money, plus the check-in counter, which for carry-on luggage is $55. If you will try to sneak the luggage until the gate, you might be charged more, around $65.
Online Luggage Fees
In order to understand better how these fees work, let’s follow the prices. So, for your first checked bag, you will pay around $30 at online booking, while at the gate, you will pay $65.
However, no matter the type of checking the baggage you will choose, you should take care of the size bag rules. For instance, the checked bags must weigh somewhere around 40 pounds each.
If your bags will weigh between 40 to 50 pounds, then you will be charged an extra $30 fee.
Carry-on bags – No fees required
The best way to avoid all those enormous luggage fees is to travel with a carry-on bag only. However, not all people can pack all the necessary items in a carry-on case.
So, if traveling light is not your thing, try to pay for the bag online, as it will typically be much cheaper than purchasing the bag at the check-in counter.
Let’s say you have paid the luggage fee at the same time you bought the flight ticket. However, keep in mind that you must weigh the luggage right at home.
Otherwise, you might reach the airport and have the surprise of having to face extra charges. Most of the airline companies have a limit of weight for checked bags (50 lbs).
Another tip for avoiding baggage fees is to rely on a friend’s goodwill. Let’s say your traveling partner is usually coming with very lightweight luggage, meaning they do not carry the entire closet with them, LOL.
As such, it might be worth combining all your forces and storing some of your stuff in their luggage. If your friend has an extra room, you can save some money by stuffing some clothes into their luggage.
5. Check Your Airline Credit Card for a Baggage Benefit
Luggage prices are a bummer, however, some of the airline companies have their own general travel credit cards, so you can avoid the baggage fees.
For instance, the co-branded airline credit cards won’t offer you as many rewards as a general credit card. After all, if you use a full airline credit card, the rewards will have advantages.
The Perks of Airline Credit Cards
One of the main perks of airline credit cards is free bags on domestic flights. It does not matter if you fly once a year or more time during the 365 days. It will be worth paying that annual fee for this kind of card.
Once you are a cardholder, you will get lots of advantages for checked bags. Whether you are a solo traveler or you take your family with you, you will avoid the baggage fees on the same reservation.
There isn’t a standard number of free bags, as this will depend on the airline company, as well as the destination and flight. Depending on the card, you will usually have one free bag for you and one person or free luggage for you and 5 other passengers.
How Do Airline Credit Cards Work?
Usually, airline credit cards will be the best help in avoiding baggage fees. Let’s take a look at an example, to understand how this advantage works.
Let’s say you are a couple, each of you checking a bag round-trip on an airline that will charge you somewhere around $30 for bag fees. The airline credit card will save you $60 to go and $60 to return. As such, you can have $120 savings for one single trip.
Usually, an airline credit card with world-wide airlines would cost $100 per year, this cost including the bag-fee perks. In this case, the savings for one single trip would be worth the annual card fee. In the end, you will save lots of money once having a card.
As good-looking as airline baggage policies can seem, well, as you might know, there are some expectations carefully buried in terms and conditions. So, for instance, some of the biggest US carriers might let you carry snowboards, boots, or skis as a single bag.
The same happens in the case of golf bags, so none of these pieces of luggage will require extra fees.
However, once you read the details of the card terms, you will notice some limitations. American limits their passengers to 14 golf clubs, 1 pair of golf shoes, and 12 golf balls.
In order to be safe and avoid the surprises exactly when you check-in, you should have these rules printed and be ready to show them to the airport agents.
Tips and Tricks
If you want to avoid the baggage fees by using a credit card, you should choose one from the airline you fly with most of the time. However, the details of each credit card vary, depending on the airline company.
Do the research about what the card offers, and all the expectations they specify.
For instance, the perks will not apply to all the luggage. If you have bags that weigh 50 pounds or more for international flights, the card might not cover the baggage fees.
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Avoiding baggage fees is, unfortunately, the hard reality of these periods. In certain situations, when you don’t consider this aspect of your travel expense. You can end in spending hundreds of dollars beyond the initial price of your ticket.
We hope our tips and tricks will help you save more and enjoy your vacation even with light luggage.
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