Those pesky airline baggage fees can add a lot to the price of a trip – especially for a family traveling together. Now add the possibility of having to bring presents to Grandma’s on the same plane trip. Your normal carry on may become a checked bag so you can carry on delicate gifts. This just adds to the cost of traveling this holiday season.
BUT – here are some ways to avoid paying extra:
1) Make your gift list before Dec. 17, and take advantage of free shipping day on the internet. More than 1000 merchants will be participating – all purchased items will have free shipping, and arrive by Christmas Eve. Some participating are: Barnes and Noble, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Land of Nod, Macy’s, Crate and Barrel….Didn’t see a whole lot of toy companies, but check it out for yourself at www.freeshippingday.com.
This way woks if you let your family or friends on the receiving end know that their gifts will arrive… and not to open them until the celebration, if that’s what you want.
2) If you are a member of Delta’s Am Ex Sky MIles cards, you get to check in one free bag – but that covers nine people on the same reservation! So – pack smartly, have the kids share one bag, and if you are an economical packer, you could pack gifts in two bags. This inclludes Delta’s Gold, PLatinum, and Reserve cards.
Continental affiliated credit cards offer the same benefit. Continental Presidential PLus card holders get their first and second bags checked for free… and primary card holders get their first bag checked for free.
Take caution however, and visit the websites for each credit card or airline to reserach and terms and conditions – you know there are always some. For instance, on Continental, tickets bought through Hotwire.com or Priceline are not eligible. Good to know. Also – look into when the program kicks in- if you apply for the credit card now, you’ll be eligible for free baggage after you receive the card, which if you act fast, could be before your holiday flight. It is important to check the annual fee of these cards also if you don’t already hold one – it may not be worth it to you.
And of course… don’t forget airlines like Southwest that let you bring two bags free…and JetBlue – one bag.
Happy – not hectic – Holidays!