Managing Airline Luggage Allowances

These days dealing with the issue of airline luggage can be a bit of a minefield. Each airline has a different allowance and the no frills companies make additional charges if you want to check in any bags. The penalties for exceeding your allowance can be severe and so it is vital to know where you stand. In order to minimise your costs it is best to travel with as little as possible but how do you minimise your luggage and how do you avoid falling foul of the airline’s rules?

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Managing Airline Luggage Allowances
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Check Your Allowance

The first step is to carefully check the luggage allowance of the airline that you wish to use. Do this before you book as generally you will have to add your luggage at the time of booking or face a financial penalty for amending the booking at a later date. If you are taking a short trip the hand luggage allowance may be sufficient for you but take care to check the dimensions of your bag as well as considering the weight as the requirements vary dramatically from airline to airline.

If hand luggage will not be enough establish the size and weight of checked bag you are allowed and refer to this when packing. You can find out the weight of your bag by weighing yourself and then standing on the scales with the bag and subtracting your own weight.

Sports Equipment

If you are taking a skiing or golfing trip you will need to take your equipment with you and this will often cost you extra. Some airlines will include sports equipment in the price but these tend to be the expensive airlines. No frills operators charge extra for the equipment and again you should add this to your initial booking as it will be more expensive to do it at a later date. Some airlines sell you sports equipment allowances on the basis of weight and will actually add this weight to your overall allowance.

This means that if you are purchasing 12kgs of extra weight for your skis and they weigh 7kgs you can add another 5kgs to your other bag. It is also often the case that airlines consolidate allowances on each booking. In other words if the allowance is 20kg and there are four of you travelling you are permitted 80kg between you but it doesn’t matter if one bag is over the 20kg as long as another is under. Not complicated really then!

Tricks for Packing

Once you have established exactly how much you can take you have to decide what to pack. This can be tricky as allowances are often rather small and you may not be in the position to take everything you wanted to in an ideal world. Minimise the number of clothes you need by taking items which you can mix and match. This way a few garments can become several different outfits without anyone noticing! You will probably want to take some nightwear and something to lounge around in so include a garment that will do both jobs.

I swear by Princess Tam Tam lounge wear in this regard! Don’t bother wasting space with toiletries as they can be purchased on arrival and remember that you are allowed a piece of hand luggage so take the biggest bag you can within the permissible dimensions and fill that too! Find out what your fellow travellers are taking. There may be some things which more than one of you planned to carry but which you only really need one of so you can save space this way as well. (First aid kits, headache tablets, adaptors and chargers spring to mind).

Weigh Your Luggage

The one thing you must do is check the weight of your luggage before leaving for the airport. Exceeding your allowance will result in penalty charges and will cause delays for you at the airport. If you check everything in advance you can set off worry free.

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Sally Stacey
About the Author:

Sally Stacey is a keen blogger and frequent traveller who has faced many luggage dilemmas. Sally currently writes for Plaisirs Boutique and many other online retailers in the UK and channel islands.

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