Tag Archives: baggage fees

Travel Tip Tuesday: Save $$ On Baggage Fees This Holiday Season

From skift.com

From skift.com

Let’s face it – as often as we try to travel with only carry on bags to avoid checked bag fees, the holidays make that a tough feat. Frequently we have to pack heavier clothes, and oh yeah – the gifts! (Remember – don’t wrap them!)

One way to avoid baggage fees : Consider becoming a cardholder of an airline-aligned credit card. If you already hold an airline credit card, brush up on your perks! Many of these cards allow one (or more) free checked bag to cardholders…. some even extend that benefit to travel companions.

Even though the cards usually come with annual fees, if you travel and check bags frequently, the card will pay for itself in saved baggage fees.

Here are some cards and baggage bonuses I researched  – but please double check before becoming a card holder!!

United Mileage Plus Explorer  – First bag checked free, and one companion on the reservation also gets a bag checked for free.  Upgrade to a United Club card and you and a companion get two bags checked for free.

Platinum Select American Airlines AAdvantage – first bag checked for free, plus FOUR people on the reservation get bags checked for free – fantastic savings for a family.

Delta Gold Sky Miles – Eureka! Not only do you get one bag checked for free, so do up to NINE people on your reservation. Sounds great, but… I don’t really know anyone who books nine people on one reservation, but heck, if you do – that’s a $450 savings round trip at $25 a checked bag.

The nation’s 15 largest carriers collected a combined $3.5 billion in bag fees in 2012, according to the Bureau of Transportation. Let’s beat them at their game.


Travel Tip Tuesday: How You Can Avoid Baggage Fees

The name of the game in travel these days is packing light to avoid checking bags and paying pesky fees. On most airlines, this can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your trip if you are traveling with a family. It is easier to pack lightly in the summer, as most of us are going to warm weather places… but what if you are off to a trip where you need all kinds of clothes, and possibly gear?

One packing item that has worked well for many people – my friends included – are the air tight compression bags. After you pack your items you are able to squeeze out all the air through a valve system, and compress your clothes by 75% (a claim by the manufacturer.)

The bags are especially helpful for bulky items like jackets and sweaters.

Make sure you get the bags that don’t require a vacuum to suck the air out – that could be a problem on the way home if you don’t have a vacuum. Depending on the size, the bags cost anywhere from $12-$30… and many are reusable.

Warning: Don’t pack so much that although you avoid baggage check in fees, you go over the weight limit and are subjected to other fees.

Check out this YouTube video below on how to use them – it’s kinda cheesy but you get the point. You can find the bags on Amazon, among other places : www.amazon.com/Pack-Mate-Compression-Bag-Multi-Pack/dp/B000BQSI1Q

One last note: Please remain vigilant in your travels. Just because Osama bin Laden is gone, we haven’t ended terrorism. My reaction was a somber one at the news of his death, not only for the innocent lives he took, but because I have heard too many times that he will be viewed as a martyr, and inspire others to jihad. If the photos of his body are released, the evocative images could incite his followers.

Airlines Flying High…Passengers – Not So Much. They Are Bugged. What Bugs You?

Third quarter earnings reports from major airlines yesterday and today the discount carriers reflect hundreds of millions of dollars in income…Pretty significant since the airline industry from 2001-2009 collectively lost billions of dollars thanks to Sept. 11, followed by a slow economy.

However – how the airlines earned some of these profits is not popular with passengers. More complaints show that fliers are not happy with the many new fees that brought the airlines millions, nor are they happy with  the packed planes which make it harder to book a flight. (Airlines cut many routes to save money, thus crowding existing flights.)

Fees for everything under the sun – checking baggage, in flight meals, blankets, reservation changes, booking a flight on the phone, shipping pets, and flying unaccompanied minors are all ways most of the airlines added to their revenues. (Note: Two holdouts: Southwest allows two checked bags free of charge ,and JetBlue allows one free.)

A recent “Consumer Reports” poll asking people about what bugs them most about flying and the travel industry found the luggage charges and add-on airline ticket fees were the biggest annoyances. Coming in second – rude staff. The poll included other pet peeves like other passengers hogging the seat, crying babies on a flight, and no airline snacks.

My biggest beef is that extra baggage costs for families with children can add hundreds of dollars to a trip. Yet at the same time, if we don’t pack all those toys, there are more crying babies 🙂

What bugs you the most about flying???