Modern airlines charge their passengers all sorts of fees in order to pad their profits. However, some fees are more notorious than others, with baggage fees being a prime example. Mainly this because baggage fees are so common that most passengers will come into contact with them at some point, which is supported by the Airline Financial Data report’s claim that airlines collected an astonishing total of more than $3.8 billion in baggage fees in 2015 alone. Still, it should be noted that so long as passengers are willing to exercise the appropriate care and caution, avoiding baggage fees should be a simple and straightforward matter.
Here are some suggestions that can be used for avoiding baggage fees
* Passengers should always start by reading the policies of their airline of choice so that they know how much they can bring in their baggage without incurring baggage fees as well as how they should be storing all of their possessions. This is absolutely essential for understanding what they can and cannot do. However, it is important to note that reading through such policies can also reveal interesting tidbits of information. For example, while airlines are not particularly interested in broadcasting such information, most of them allow certain items such as car seats, children’s strollers, and some medical devices to be brought with their owners onto airplanes free of charge.
* If your baggage is already close to your allotment, you need to be careful about picking up extra weight while you are away from home. For example, if you are a tourist, you might want to avoid buying too many souvenirs that can weigh down your baggage. Similarly, if you are traveling from a cold climate to a warm climate, you might want to avoid putting your cold weather apparel into your baggage since they can be surprisingly heavy. To prevent such problems, you should make sure to weigh your baggage before you head to the airport while also doing your best to avoid changing how you have packed your belongings into your baggage as much as possible.
* In some cases, you should consider shipping your baggage because that can actually be cheaper than bringing it with you onto your plane. Naturally, this means that you will probably have to wait longer for your baggage to arrive at your destination, but depending on how you react to baggage fees as well as the inconvenience of having to pick up your baggage at the baggage carousel, this could be well worth the cost. Something that is particularly true if you manage to find a shipping service with a good rate for shipping items that are about the size of your baggage as well as about the weight of your baggage, which can happen because different shipping services charge different shipping rates.
* As time passes, new techniques and technologies continue to be introduced, with luggage being no exception to this rule. In short, some of the materials out on the market mean that modern luggage is not just lighter than their predecessors but also just as durable, meaning that they can help passengers squeeze their baggage under the weight limitations. Although these examples of modern luggage tend to be more expensive, the short-term cost can be more than made up by the long-term savings, particularly if their owners travel a lot by air and thus spend a lot on baggage fees.
* Most airlines have some sort of loyalty program with which to reward their most frequent flies, which exist to maximize their chances of holding onto such lucrative customers. One of the benefits that come with such loyalty programs is the waving of baggage fees as well as other minor expenses, which is convenient for frequent fliers but not so much for other passengers. As a result, people who want their baggage fees to be waived without having to travel thousands and thousands of miles by air on an annual basis should consider getting a credit card from their airline of choice, which can sometimes come with similar benefits as their loyalty programs.
* Different airlines have different pricing schemes in order to maximize their appeal to different segments of the market. For example, it is not uncommon for discount airlines to waive baggage fees as well as other minor expenses in order to maximize their appeal to passengers who want something simple and straightforward with no fripperies. However, it is important to note that this is not true among all discount airlines, just as how there are also other airlines that offer such services, meaning that passengers need to make sure to read the policies of their airline of choice before making a final decision.
* Finally, it is important to remember that the simplest and most straightforward way to avoid baggage fees is to choose a form of transportation other than flying through the air. For example, while train travel still comes with limitations on how much stuff passengers can bring onto the trains, their baggage fees tend to be much more reasonable, partly because trains have much more space than even the biggest airplanes. Naturally, other forms of transportation are nowhere near as fast as flying through the air, but whether that is worth the reduction in baggage fees as well as other minor expenses or not is something that can be answered by no one but the passenger. After all, everyone have different tolerances for different fees based on their different needs and circumstances, meaning that what seems reasonable to one person might not seem so reasonable to the next.
With that said, it is important to remember that different airlines have different rules, meaning that what suffices for one airline might not suffice for another airline. As a result, passengers should make sure to read the rules for their airlines before starting on their packing so that they can be sure of avoiding baggage fees. In this as in other things, becoming fully-informed is essential to ensuring the best outcome from the situation.