Smart Ways to Avoid Paying Excess Baggage Fees when Travelling Internationally
There are a lot of expenses to make when travelling abroad. You have to pay for your flight ticket and your hotel booking. You have to set aside some money for food, entertainment and shopping while abroad. In the face of all these expenses, a lot of people do not want to spend any additional money on excess baggage.
It is optional to pay for excess baggage. However, a lot of travellers find they are unable to escape these payments, thereby enriching these international airlines every year. You can travel internationally without having to pay for excess baggage. All it takes is very little effort on your part.
Everyone tells you to pack light to avoid these excess baggage fees but is this realistic? Especially when you are travelling back home and you have to bring a souvenir for close friends and family or when you are travelling with the entire family and everyone needs their own multiple pieces of luggage or if you are relocating or going away from home for a long time. In such situations, even the people who have mastered the art of squeezing every personal belonging into one or two medium-sized baggage are left feeling daunted.
The following tips describe how to avoid baggage fees with tricks that the airlines have kept hidden for ages.
Book an Airline That Gives a Generous Baggage Allowance
There are a lot of international airlines that do not charge passengers any fees to check two bags. While booking, when you find two flights of similar prices, look at how many free kilograms of free luggage allowed per passenger, then choose the option that lets you carry more luggage for free. This way you can save some money.
Navigating the airlines’ complex luggage policies is no easy feat for a newbie. Baggage fees change regularly and can differ by airline, destination, and travel date, number of luggage, their weights and sizes. If you make the mistake of first paying for a travel ticket before checking out the airline’s baggage allowance, you stand the risk of paying for checked-in luggage. And these costs are hardly ever cheap. When booking a flight, your best bet is to thoroughly read your airline’s policy before you book your flight.
Book the right ticket
Booking a premium ticket such as premium economy, business class or first-class ticket offers you the opportunity of checking in a lot more free bags than non-premium paying passengers. Some airlines also provide airfare classes that include checked baggage. Free baggage services are also provided to travellers accompanying people who hold elite status with the airline.
If you have already planned to spend some money on more luxurious travel anyway, then buy a premium seat and you’ll get a free checked bag to go along with your more spacious seat. You have to do this right when you are booking your ticket because getting an upgrade to a premium cabin after dropping off your bag, would not absolve you from paying a checked bag fee.
Use one airline faithfully and travel often.
If you travel very often, you can join a Frequent Flyer Program. Travellers who fly often can save some money on baggage fees by becoming a part of their favourite airline’s frequent flyer program. Most of the popular international airlines, offer some sort of loyalty package that may sometimes include the waiving of baggage fees for elite members. This elite status is bestowed on members who have flown a certain number of miles, usually at least 25, 0000 miles a year with the airline and also met the required spending limit. If it impossible for you to fly up to 25,000 miles annually, you can also apply for a credit card from the airline. Many major airlines relinquish checked bag fees for cardholders.
A credit card could also give free baggage allowance privileges to your travel companion; you can also get a credit card that permits you to apply for a yearly travel credit towards baggage fees. To make up the annual fee requirements for these cards, all you need to do is fly a couple of more times a year, and in no time you would be entitled to the privileges and series of perks that come with being a cardholder.
When everything else fails, this is the only option left for a traveller who wants to avoid excess baggage fees. It is also one of the most difficult options available albeit the least expensive.
Fit everything you need in just the free number of bags allowed. Take advantage of your carryon luggage and fit as much stuff as you can in there. Also, remember that you can carry your handbag or laptop bag in addition to your carryon luggage for free. Even if you are not travelling with a laptop, you can back a few clothes or books and take them along with you in your laptop bag, as free carryon luggage. This would reduce the items that you have to carry in your checked-in luggage.
Also, remember that there are several items that you can check for free, such items include car seats, wheelchairs, strollers plus some airlines will let you bring home local delicacies free of charge.
You can also get reduced fees on sports equipment such as surfboards. It’s also been suggested that duty-free bags are a way of avoiding additional baggage fees. The airlines usually permit two duty-free bags to travel with no fees attached, so get two duty-free bags and stuff your heaviest personal items in them.
Ship your Bags
If you are travelling with way too many bags, then use an international shipping company to ship your bags to your destination. If you use this method, bear in mind that your luggage would most probably not get to your destination at the same time as you. When shipping, avoid very expensive shipping companies and use the more affordable ones.