There are so quite a few budget airlines to choose from – Jetblue Air, Southwest Air, or Delta. But finding an affordable flight is not always easy. But even if you do find one, that’s only half the battle won. Baggage fees can sometimes become a major expense when traveling, which is why you need to take this into account. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on your baggage when you show up at the check-in counter, here are some tips to keep in mind.
1. Know the fees
Researching the baggage fees before heading to the airport or even before you book a flight is a must. Airlines have different baggage fees depending on the type of fare or your destination. Some airlines charge a fee for surfboards, skis and other sports equipment. Knowing the fees and comparing them across airlines can help you save money significantly.
2. Use the correct airline credit card
A lot of top airline credit cards give lots of perks including a free first checked baggage for the credit cardholder. Some airlines even offer free first checked baggage for the cardholder’s companions as well. Imagine the savings you can get.
3. Book business class
People who fly in a higher class often do not have to pay for their checked baggage. Of course this won’t let you save money since you’ll be paying more for your ticket. But if you’re going to pay for excess baggage, why not just travel in style?
4. Enroll in a frequent flyer program
Airlines with frequent flyer programs often give baggage allowance to their elite members. You can accumulate points by staying in a hotel chain or getting a credit card that gives points/miles for every time you use it. The World of Hyatt Credit Card for example awards cardholders with an elite status on Hyatt automatically, which happens to have American Airlines reciprocal benefits agreement.
5. If applicable, use a military discount
Many airlines like JetBlue award military members with free checked luggage. Active-duty military personnel and their family (dependents) can fly with two bags each at no cost.
6. Check your bag when you get to the gate
Oftentimes, airline employees may allow you to check your bag at the gate – they have room for carry-on luggage so you don’t have to look for space in the overhead bins. But there are times when this is not possible, however.
7. Pack light
The best way to not have to pay for baggage fees is to not check in any bags aside in excess of your free baggage allowance. Most airlines give you free one carry-on and another free baggage for personal items like a laptop bag or purse. Try to fit all your stuff in your carry-on. As long as it can fit under the seat it should be allowed. But to be sure, check the dimensions allowed by the airlines in advance.
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