Baggage fees are only one of the many aspects travelers need to take into account when planning on either heading out of country for business, or flying to their annual vacation spot. How much are you really spending at the airport? Not just with how much a ticket costs for your flight, but rather how much you are willing to give to the airline in fees?
I think we all end up spending more at the airport then we think, with hunger in between flights being a factor, buying more expensive seats to be in a quieter area of the plane and checking bags during our flight. The baggage fees are what I want to focus on, considering it is the number one revenue stream for airlines. So how do we avoid checking a bag, or paying for baggage at all? Here are some tips on how to save money with regards to packing, and a list of airlines that offer free baggage.
- Use vacuum sealed bags to compress all of your clothing into one tiny neat package, using a vacuum to suck all the air out. Or you can use compression bags that use a series of straps to compress your clothes into a neat package.
- Wear some of your luggage. Either get wearable luggage like bulky jackets such as: Jaktogo and Bagket to carry 10-15LBS worth of luggage, or wear an outfit that you want to take with you.
- Pack evenly, tightly and firmly to make sure that you are getting as much into your luggage bag as possible without losing any space to the bigger items. Always weigh your bag with an accurate scale to make sure you’re not going to go over as even a few ounces can cause you to incur an additional charge.
- Get preferred status and use those loyalty points to get better deals on baggage fees.
Now if you really don’t want to incur baggage fees then there are several ‘free baggage airlines’ that offer to fly your baggage for free both in the United States and Internationally.
- JetBlue (United States): First Checked Bag Free.
- Southwest Airlines (United States): First Checked Bag Free.
- Air Canada: Free within Canada and some international destinations.
- Aeromexico: Free.
- Air China: Free.
- Air France: Free up to 50 lbs (varies on destination).
- Air India: Free (Varies on class 25 kg – 40 kg)
- Air Jamaica: Free.
- Air Panama: Free, up to 25 pounds.
- Europe Airpost: Free.
This is just a short list that has been compiled for your convenience, but there are other international airlines that do offer free baggage, or have free baggage as long as it is under a certain weight limit. By flying with a free baggage airline not only are you saving yourself a lot of money, but you can also avoid headaches such as lost or forgotten baggage. Please check with your specific airline to see what the requirements and specifications are for checked bags before booking your flight, this way you can save some money at the airport.