Sunday, November 23, 2008

Check Baggage Allowances Before Flying

Before flying (and maybe even before purchasing a ticket), be sure to check the airline's baggage allowances. The rules on luggage are changing faster than I can keep up with them, which is why I'm not simply listing the information here.

Keep in mind that for domestic flights (within the continental U.S.), most U.S. airlines are charging at least $15 for the FIRST piece of checked luggage and $25 for the second piece. Weight allowances shrunk a while back from 70 lbs per bag to 50 lbs per bag so don't try to stuff everything into one checked piece. You might find the charge on your overweight piece costs even more than checking a second bag.

In addition to this, the allowable size of carryons has also shrunk. Many airlines allowed 51 inches (length + width + height). Now that number is down to 45 or 46 inches.

There is still an airline or two that don't charge for checked luggage. Southwest is one of them. So check out the baggage charges before buying a ticket. I don't know about anyone else but if the price is the same for an airline that charges and one that doesn't, I, of course, will be buying my ticket from the airline that doesn't charge.

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