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Baggage fees

 
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LLB



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Baggage fees Reply with quote

About a month ago, I read that a couple of airlines had instituted a policy wherein rather than a flier getting two checked-in bags for free, they would now charge for that second bag. It didn't take long for that policy to spread, and then yesterday I read that American Airlines took it a step further; now fliers will be charged for any checked bags.

Basically this means that if you are planning to be out of town for longer than a long week-end, because of the 3 oz liquid rule on carry-on luggage, you will be forced to pay the extra fee. And, even if you plan a very short trip, you may well end up paying the extra fee anyway...here's why. Last year we traveled on Southwest to L.A. with carry-on luggage only. For our return, we arrived at the airport a full two hours in advance, and the carry-on line was out the door, and down past the next terminal. After 45 minutes in line, we had to dump out liquids and get into the checked line just so we wouldn't miss our flight. I lost $65 in skin care products; my husband probably half that amount...all because Southwest didn't have enough check in lines open.

If that happened when you were allowed free checked-in bags, can you imagine what it'll be like without any free checked-in bags? It's a nightmare for me; I wear contacts and my solutions alone take up half the plastic baggie I am allowed to take in my carry-on. Luckily my skin care line has a travel version, but even with that, I can't take all the lotions and potions I like to travel with.

I realize the cost of fuel has gone through the roof, but it seems like they are nickel and diming us to death. No food...I get it. No pillow...I get it. One bag...I get it. No bags? I don't get it.

The only reason carry-on works these days is because not everyone takes advantage of it, which means that those who do actually have a place for theirs. To save money, I'm sure more and more people are going to schlep their bags on board. Which will over-stuff the over-heads, require bags last minute be moved to the plane's belly, and create even further delays in take-off.

Most of the flying I do these days is very last minute, which means I end up flying Southwestern, and because of the pain-in-the-ass Wright Amendment, nowhere I fly is ever close to being a non-stop journey. And on most of those non-stop journeys, I change planes at least once. It's different when I travel with my husband, but when I travel alone, I generally take my back-pack aboard but check my small suitcase so I won't have to lift it overhead to put it away or take it down...and so I don't have to rely on whatever nice man is nearby. Then too, running from terminal to terminal with both a heavy backpack (laptop included!) and a roller bag, isn't always a workable solution.

What types of bags do you travel with?
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 875
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, Laurie, I can so relate to what you are talking about! I don't travel a whole lot, but it is getting more stressful and annoying all of the time. I have very bad arthritis in my knees and walking and standing for long periods of time is very hard for me. Nowadays, it seems all you do is stand in lines. And delays! Don't let me get started on that one!

I make a huge effort to condense my packing and take as little as possible - usually 1 "regular" bag (20-22") and 1 small carry-on that will fit under the seat. My rule is that I must be able to handle my luggage by myself without assistance so that is about all I can handle. Since all of the goofy security rules, I have been checking just about everything, too.

I understand the airlines' need to increase fares due to rising fuel costs, but you are right in saying that all kinds of economy measures have already been taken. I can see a charge for more than one bag, but not allowing any checked luggage with the purchase of a ticket is ridiculous. I don't mind the no food deal. I hate to eat on planes anyway. Unless you are flying cross-country or overseas, your flight will not be more than a few hours and not-eating isn't a problem for me.

My issues with the whole carry-on thing are numerous. It really restricts what you can bring with you because of the security regulations if you don't check a bag. Another problem I have is that no way in hell is there room for everyone on the plane to bring their luggage on board; therefore, the airlines will be forced to discriminate against some passengers. How would they decide who gets to carry on and who is forced to pay? It doesn't take long for those bins to fill up. And the more carry-on luggage there is the longer it takes to load and unload the plane. Another problem I have with carry-on luggage is that I am not very tall or very strong; there is no way I can heft a full piece of luggage up into the overhead bin. I wonder what is next?
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 871
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I travel I take only two carry-ons. One is a suitcase and the second is a large enough bag that I fit my purse and books and other miscellaneous stuff inside it. I rarely check my bags. One goes in the overhead bin and the other I stow under the seat in front of me. I have learned to travel light but usually my trips are pretty short so what I can put in my suitcase has to do for the duration.

When we were on our honeymoon(back in 1985) our bags got lost coming home--which was better than at the beginning of the trip. So from that experience I decided that less is better. You can always do laundry while you're on the trip so it is doable.

My niece who travels constantly usually sends her clothes and toiletries ahead of her by UPS. Then they are there when she arrives. It works for her and so she has only her business stuff to deal with.
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Rosario



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 328
Location: Liverpool, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarenS wrote:
When I travel I take only two carry-ons. One is a suitcase and the second is a large enough bag that I fit my purse and books and other miscellaneous stuff inside it. I rarely check my bags. One goes in the overhead bin and the other I stow under the seat in front of me. I have learned to travel light but usually my trips are pretty short so what I can put in my suitcase has to do for the duration.

I wish I could do that... I have this really huge "handbag" that would be perfect for it. But UK airports have become really annoying lately, and you're allowed only one piece of carry-on luggage. And by one, I do mean one: a tiny little purse with maybe your wallet and mobile and keys counts like that "one", so you even need to make space for it inside the bigger carry-on.

Still, I can travel for two weeks with just a carry-on. More, if I can do laundry, if it weren't for that stupid liquids rule. The liquids thing is the real problem, I think.
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LLB



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: One bag...one backpack Reply with quote

When we went to Europe a few years ago, because we knew we would be traveling almost daily, we packed entirely in a backpack each, and a suitcase that would fit in the overhead each. It worked okay, and we were able to do it all, but I would have much preferred not to wear wet underwear because the stuff never dried in hotels without air conditioning on hot summer days and nights. I always brag about that packing job, particularly when a couple of years later we went on a cruise to Alaska and, by necessity, needed a whole lot more luggage. We STILL pack lightly compared to most people - on two trips w/my family, we had about half the luggage for three of us that my mom, sister, and niece had, but the real killer for me at this point IS the liquid limit, not the clothing allotment. To take it all on-board, you cannot bring more than tiny bottles. I have a ton of room left in my backpack each time we travel that could hold larger bottles, but since I doubt that liquid limit is ever going to change, it's a real problem.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 827

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to do all carry-on, before the liquid limit, and before I hurt my shoulder/neck multiple times lugging too much through the airport. Now when travelling in the U.S., I check one rolling suitcase (the size that actually qualifies for carry-on), and carry-on my backpack (with laptop inside), and a purse.

When I travel to Europe, I don't bring my laptop, so I don't bring my backpack. Instead, I carryon a soft duffle-type bag with a few changes of clothing, and check my same rolling suitcase. I haven't hurt my neck/shoulder since I've been doing this, so I guess I'll just pay the fees for checking one bag...better to keep my health.
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pinkbubble



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate carry on, I hate to mess with it. And this new policy really bugs me. My husband travels a lot for business (about three weeks of every four he is gone for at least part of the week) and two weeks ago we went out and bought a new carry on for him that was big enough to take 5 days worth of business clothes and workout gear. He gets by with 4 shirts and two pants plus what he wears on the plane.

It is a huge pain but he needs to travel so we make do. I am not looking forward to our trip to MN in two weeks on AA. We are going for a week and there is no way I can pack for a carry on ...
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 949

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ten days in England. One carry on. In March.

Fear me!

PS. The secret is to take the biggest damn +1 you can lay your hands on. Mine is an LL Bean backpack that is practically bigger than my roller carryon, but is squishable under the seat in front of me.

Anybody know where I can find a complete list of new airline baggage fees? I'm flying home from Asia in June and want to see what I'm facing.
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ReadingGrrl



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My problem isn't carry on vs. checked... It's whether or not my stuff gets there at all.

The airport I fly out of generally flies planes that are too small to do carry on for anything other than backpacks and briefcases, so you can either check your stuff when you get there, or check your stuff at the gate...

But here's a tip: If you check your stuff at the gate, it's almost guaranteed to be at your destination when you get there (since they made you check it at the gate, they have to bring your stuff because you could have really important stuff in there that you would've otherwise carried on).

If they have to offload baggage for weight reasons (which they occasionally do on the smaller commuter planes), the stuff checked at the gate is exempt from the offload - they take the checked stuff off the plane first.

This is important, because lately, my checked luggage only arrives at my destination maybe 1 out of 4 flights. 2 if I'm lucky. Really.

I spend a LOT of time in the lost bags department, and have had my stuff delivered an hour away from the airport at 2 a.m. more times than I care to discuss.

My favorite part is when they ask me what color my bag is... To which I respond "Leopard print. It should be pretty damn obvious."

FWIW, PHL is the worst airport for routing luggage to its destination. And the combination of US Airways and PHL guarantees that your luggage isn't going with you.

I've had better success with Northwest and United - although United's economy seats are really now more like sardine seats, since they decided that normal economy seats should cost extra. But that's a completely different topic unto itself.
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RichMissTallant



Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After living in the UK for 6 months and travelling around Europe, I got used to having to pay to check a bag (I did carry-on for weekend trips, but because of the liquid rule, I had to check bags for longer trips) With airlines like easyjet and Ryanair, it didn't bother me because they offer such cheap flights. It angers me that AA or a similar airline would do this, however. As if flying transatlantic or even throughout the U.S. isn't expensive enough already! I'll be returning to the States soon, and I'm using two airlines - Virgin Atlantic from London to D.C., and then after staying overnight I'm flying Delta from D.C. to Charlotte. (It sounds out of the way and complicated, but I made a pit stop in D.C. back in December to see an old friend before coming to the UK.) Anyway, the cost of my round-trip flight from D.C. to Charlotte is over half of the cost of my round-trip flight from D.C. to London, and it seems Delta is now doing the one checked bag rule. I don't remember being charged extra for my 2nd bag back in December, so either it hadn't been in place yet or I had a nice airline employee. If I have to pay this time, though... oooo!
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