In the modern age of air travel, checked baggage fees are as ubiquitous as duty-free shopping catalogs in the back pocket of the seat in front of you. Some airlines have even begun to charge for carry-on luggage, particularly for short-haul flights where most passengers end up bringing fewer bags for shorter trips. To avoid such fees, here are a few tips to keep in mind when booking and prepping for your next flight.
Read the fine print. Airline booking websites usually do a decent job of informing you of your baggage allowance, but some may hide this information, knowing busy bookers aren’t going to take the time to read the terms and conditions. Instead of waiting for the airline to clue you in, be proactive and seek out this information on the airline’s website before you book.
Review your loyalty program or credit card benefits. Some airline loyalty programs allow free checked bags, as do some travel-focused credit cards. Refer to your policy to see if this may apply to you.
Pack light and/or buy a luggage scale. Packing light seems easy but once everything is crammed into a suitcase, it may end up weighing more than anticipated. Lay out what you plan to pack in advance, and then cut it in half. Also, consider investing in a luggage scale so you are fully aware of what your luggage weighs before you arrive at the airport scale to face overweight bag fees.
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