How to avoid Excess Baggage Fees

You know the feeling. You’re waiting in line at the aiport check-in desk and your hold luggage is over the weight allowance.

You know it is because just this morning you had to sit on your suitcase to close it shut and then you tried without success to balance it at various angles on the bathroom scales in the hope that it would read under 20kg.

tips to avoid excess baggageIt read about 25kg – and there was nothing – I repeat Nothing that you felt you could leave behind!

As the queue gets shorter so you sweat a little more. Your heart is beating wildly and you try to make light conversation with the person beside you, who’s looking straight down at your case.

You try to casually fling your swollen suitcase on the scales. You may emit a grunt. In the end you have to shove it up using two hands making the scales wobble in a rather nasty way.

Your eyes are glued to that little digital display, as the numbers flick higher and higher. You flash a smile at the attendant and hope they let this pass. They don’t. Your baggage is whacked with an ‘overweight’ sticker and you’re whacked with an excessive fee.

Great start to your trip, right?

When this happens to me, I just wish I was not going anywhere on a blimmin’  plane. I wish I was just going down south somewhere calm, like Walpole, where I can pack the car full of any old junk I care to take along with me!

How to avoid excess baggage fees

A trip down south to somewhere like Walpole, with all my stuff including a bike packed in the car – now that’s a way to avoid excess baggage fees!

With a number of price hikes in excess baggage fees across the industry those of us who struggle to pack lightly are facing hefty excess baggage fee charges.

My friend Sarah has been doing a bit of research around excess baggage. “Statistics show that in 2012, the world’s 15 largest airlines collected a combined $3.5 billion US dollars in baggage fees in 2012 alone. This is 3.8% up on 2011 figures and passengers shouldn’t look for a break anytime soon – baggage fees are forecast increase further over the coming years,” she told me.

“Further research has shown passengers’ reluctance to book tickets if the initial base fare is too high. Airlines have overcome this by keeping airfares low and introducing extra fees (collectively known as ancillary charges) on top of their low base prices, to overcome and help offset rising fuel charges and maintain profitability. These can be charges for anything from extra leg-room seats, priority boarding, printing boarding passes(?!) and the age old favourite: baggage fees, “she told me.

Tips to keep down baggage costs and fees

PACK & SEND, the packing, courier and delivery experts, have put together their top tips and tricks to help you avoid those hefty excess baggage fees next time you fly! With some modest effort and by using these tips the airlines don’t want you to know, you can save both time and effort. 

Buy A Small Luggage Scale – This handy gadget will serve you again and again – not to mention save you the unnecessary panic on your journey to the airport for your return flight, with the unknown weight of your suitcase hanging over your head. A portable luggage scale enables you to measure the weight of your suitcase prior to arriving at the airport, saving you from reluctantly removing those precious holiday souvenirs you painstakingly picked out. Aim to leave room for inconsistencies by under-packing by half a kg – there is always the chance there may be a difference between yours and the airlines weight checks.

Invest In New Light-Weight Luggage – one of the most common mistakes people make when choosing a suitcase is not paying enough attention to the weight of the suitcase itself. Don’t waste precious kg allowance on older, heavier suitcases; invest in new luggage made from modern lightweight materials. Spending that little extra money is guaranteed to pay off in more ways than one!

Plan Ahead, Send Ahead – Plain and simple – do your research! More often than not sending luggage on ahead using a courier service is more cost efficient than checking in and paying for extra luggage. Plus it saves you from wrestling with two suitcases and spending extra time at the luggage carousel on arrival at your destination! Check out PACK & SEND for costs and timings for domestic and international couriering.

Case studies:

Tracey  made the travel-savvy decision of booking 30kg with PACK & SEND at the end of her shopping holiday to New York. Not only did Tracey save precious dollars opting to get her buys couriered instead of flying them home as excess luggage, she didn’t have to worry about the inconvenience of lugging an extra 30kg around the airport. Her carefully selected buys were waiting for her at home in Australia before she was!

Jessica, from London, was well aware her 20kg luggage allowance would not be nearly enough for her relocation to Melbourne. Not wanting to take the risk of excess baggage fees she decided she would save some money and get the excess items sent over with PACK & SEND. Jessica saved money and her extra items arrived in Melbourne on the same day she did.

This is a sponsored post by Pack & Send.

If you’d like to win a Pack & Send voucher to the value of AUD$100 pop over to my Lifestyle Blog at Lifestyle Fifty where there’s a competition giveaway “Great Competition Giveaways – Are you Ready?” It’s easy to enter – go on, you might just save yourself a whole lot of heartache on your next trip. You have until 26th June 2014 to have a go. What are you waiting for?

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Comments

  1. I bought a small lightweight suitcase to carry my excess baggage, usually shoes. They haven’t counted my carry on luggage and my handbag as two pieces, go figure x
    Rae Hilhorst recently posted..Continuing Breast Surgery Odds on Breast CancerMy Profile

  2. I never get it Rae! Sometimes I’m appalled at the enormous carry on some people take and think it will bring the plane down. One small hand carry and a hand bag seems ok to me, but some airlines don’t allow do they, and others do!

  3. Great advice Jo. I am a hopeless packer. I always pack for four seasons and the eventuality of rain, hail or shine. I do however normally come in under the weight limit. The problem is that coming home after I’ve done tons of shopping I tend to get into trouble. Luckily I can usually put some of my purchases in my hubby’s suitcase.
    Kathy Marris recently posted..My Affair with the Clare ValleyMy Profile

  4. We don’t fly often anymore and we enjoy the luxury of packing the car full of extras that we could’ve left home. My husband would disagree and say the liquor cabinet and cooler is necessary. We just bought our tickets for a trip to London and I was shocked at how the airline Tax added to my ticket added an extra 35%.
    Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it recently posted..Come Clean! Fresh As A Baby’s Bum?My Profile

  5. Packing the car with whatever we need is one of life’s little luxuries, Neva. I laughed about the liquor cabinet and cooler! We are lucky to have so many wineries in the region that we can just stop off for a bottle whenever ;) Oooh, have a lovely trip to London, can’t wait to read about it.

  6. Rain, hail or shine – me too Kathy – oh, but I add on double, just in case. Yes, hubby’s are wonderful when they pack sparsely, as mine does too ;)

  7. Great idea! I’ve been wondering how I’m going to juggle the gear for cycling the himalayas with a weeding in Ireland in one round the world trip. Unless I can set an new stilettos-with-lycra trend between now and July, it looks like I’ll be seeking the services of Pack and Send.
    Tracey recently posted..Six Bridget Jones Inspired Tips for Talking on Live TVMy Profile

  8. Sounds like you’ve got a really busy travel time coming up Tracey, and so exciting. Can’t wait to read all about the cycling in the Himalayas. I’m looking forward to seeing your stilettos-with-lycra trend!!

  9. Great idea! :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..Cross section view of the original Kumamoto castleMy Profile

  10. Thanks Muza Chan!

  11. I am a hopeless packer – no matter where I go I either take too much and don’t use half of it, or I get there and wish that I had brought “that other top”….packer’s remorse? You bet! This mid season half way between summer-autumn-winter is hopeless for packing – you have to take summer and winter clothes! What to take? Oh well, if you are going somewhere tropical, and run out of clothes, just buy something! When we went to Africa we wore our hiking boots on the plane because they were too heavy to pack.
    Life Images by Jill recently posted..Secret Garden Affairs and photographing cupcakes!My Profile

  12. Same same,Jill!

  13. Super tips Jo. I’ll have to speak with Mark about recruiting his bicycle scale to pre-weigh our luggage before getting to the dreaded queue before the next flight! Unwanted grams beware.
    Wanda recently posted..Pearls of Wisdom for Keon and the Rest of UsMy Profile

  14. Ha Ha Wanda – the bicycle scale sounds a great pre-weigh option.

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