April 19, 2024

How to Avoid Paying Overweight Baggage Fees at the Airport

Travelling as a tourist can be an exciting experience, but the costs can quickly add up, especially when it comes to overweight baggage fees at the airport. Paying extra for heavy luggage can put a dent in your travel budget, but there are ways savvy tourists can avoid these annoying fees. Follow these tips to keep more pounds in your pocket and avoid paying those overweight baggage fees.

Know Your Airline’s Weight Limits

The first step is knowing your airline’s baggage weight limits. This will vary by airline, cabin class, frequent flyer status, and other factors. Do your research beforehand and know the maximum weight for checked bags that are included in your ticket price. The standard weight limit for most economy cabin tickets is around 23kg, but can be as low as 15kg on budget airlines, and typically higher for business/first class. If your bag exceeds the limit, you’ll pay an overweight baggage fee, so make sure you’re aware of the restrictions.

Use a Luggage Scale

Investing in a cheap luggage scale is a great way for tourists to avoid getting caught out with overweight baggage. Scales can be purchased for around £5-10 and are small and easy to pack. Use it to weigh your bag at home to ensure you’re under the weight limit. If it’s overweight, you’ll have time to adjust the contents before arriving at the airport. Much better than realising you’re over at check-in and scrambling to pay the fees.

Wear Your Bulky Items

If your luggage is borderline overweight, get creative with what you’re wearing on the plane. Heavy shoes, jackets and accessories can easily be worn on your body rather than packed. Tourists heading somewhere cold can wear bulky jumpers and jackets, while light layers are perfect for tropical destinations. Shoes and boots are essential items that weigh a lot, so wear your heaviest footwear. Every pound you wear is one less in your bag.

Understand Overweight Baggage Fee Policies

While fees vary between airlines, overweight bags typically incur fees of £65-150 per flight. Budget airlines often charge higher fees than full-service carriers. Things tourists should know are fees apply per flight, not per trip, so return flights mean paying twice. Some airlines will charge a flat overweight fee up to a certain weight, say 32kg, and then an extra per kg after that. So small tip-overs may just incur a flat fee, but bags substantially overweight get exponentially expensive.

Pack Light as Possible

The simplest way tourists can sidestep overweight baggage fees is by packing as light as possible. Limiting luggage to essential items needed for the trip is an easy win. As a tourist, you likely won’t need your entire wardrobe. Stick to versatile items that mix and match, and re-wear outfits to get more use out of less. Only pack toiletries you’ll actually use during your trip. And don’t pack things “just in case” – you can always buy essentials like chargers at your destination if needed. The lighter your bags, the easier it’ll be to avoid overweight fees.

Distribute Weight Across Bags

Tourists checking in multiple bags can distribute weight across their luggage. Pack the heaviest items across different bags to prevent any single bag exceeding the limit. Just be sure no bag falls under airline requirements – some require minimum weights. Aim to have multiple lighter bags rather than one overloaded case. Splitting your luggage is an easy way for tourists to skirt baggage weigh-ins.

By following these handy tips for tourists, you can employ some simple strategies to avoid getting slugged with annoying and expensive overweight baggage fees. A bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to packing light, weighing your luggage and understanding airline policies. Take the time to do it right so you can maximise your travel budget and avoid paying extra overweight baggage fees.

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