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Tips to avoid baggage fees at the airport

Posted on Thursday 22 September 2011 in Shoestring, Flights


Ways to avoid shelling out big bucks at the airport - Shoestring Travel News

Many travelers find themselves less than thrilled at the airport. As if the lengthy security checks and procedures were not enough to stress out even the most relaxed traveller, some individuals lose it all together when they realize that checking their carefully packed luggage is going to cost them an arm and a leg.

According to The Independent Traveler, the airline industry accumulated more than $9.2 million dollars in baggage fees in 2010. As some carriers charge as much as $50 per bag, one can see how easy it is for travelers to drain their wallets before even officially embarking on their vacations. However, there are a few things that individuals can do in order to minimize their expenses at the check-in counter.

MSNBC reports that being a member of a frequent flier program can often excuse travelers from any baggage fees that are normally mandatory. However, as these initiatives do cost money to belong to, these programs really don't make sense financially unless except for frequent fliers. For instance, one can join Delta's SkyMiles club for 4550Rs a year. As their checked bag fee is 1200Rs per piece of luggage, individuals would either need to be traveling with a group or plan to embark on at least four annual trips in order for it to pay off. In addition, it is important to remember that, as a Delta SkyMiles cardholder, you are only entitled to complimentary luggage on this one particular airline. If one need to fly on another carrier, he or she is sort of out of luck.

Another way to avoid breaking the budget at the airport is for travelers to simply carry on their bags. This is a fantastic strategy for shorter flights, especially since it removes the long waits at baggage claim from the equation, but may not be possible for individuals embarking on longer excursions. In this case, would-be travelers may want to consider shopping around and booking a flight on a discount airline. According to The Independent Traveler, many no-frills carriers do not charge passengers for checking bags. For instance, Southwest allows individuals two free bags, while JetBlue allows passengers one.

Other options mentioned by the news sources include skipping the airport all together and taking a train or bus to one's destination, assuming it is within the country, and shipping bags ahead of time to the destination. While this option is not free, it can be markedly cheaper than what the airlines would charge.

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