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Understanding Airline Luggage Requirements 

 

In the world of planes and international flights, prices are raising at an alarming rate. Lately, it's not the ticket prices that have frequent flyers up in arms, but the luggage costs. In years past, you packed whatever you needed for a trip and didn't have to stress over weight, number of bags, or the size of those bags. However, when preparing for your next flight, these are the main areas you'll need to look out for.

 

Every airline has its own rules and regulations there's no one place to look to see all the different restrictions. And unfortunately, policies are always changing in these companies, so your best bet will be to call the airline you'll be flying on to verify the rules before boarding your flight.

 

When you call the airline, there are some basic questions you'll want to ask. Most companies now have size restrictions for luggage. Consider that your bags don't have to be the exact size, but they must fall within the guidelines stated. Airlines may also put limits on the number of free bags you can carry on or check. Roughly half of the airlines allow you to check one bag for free, while the other half charges fees from $15-$50 per bag. You'll also need to consider that the companies that do charge fees, charge a fee each way. If you're traveling round trip, you'll need to pay the fee twice.

 

These restrictions may be more lenient if you're a frequent flyer or if you're traveling first class. Some companies will allow you to carry more bags for these flights or some will just waive the fees altogether. Each company has rates for what they charge for extra bags and bags that are larger than the specified size, although some companies charge by the bag and others charge by the pound. Airlines will often put total restrictions on the number of bags you can bring. Even if you're willing to pay more, there's only a set amount of space they'll allow each customer.

 

Due to these new restrictions, many travelers are now using private luggage services. These companies will pick up your bag from home or the office and ship them to your destination using an air courier service. Most of the time, your bags will actually arrive before you do. These services may charge a higher fee, especially if free checking is available on your airline. However, the option to eliminate carrying bags through terminals and planes can be well worth it you simply pack your bags at home and they'll be waiting for you when you get to the hotel. Search online to find out if any of these services are available in your area.

 

So, while there's no one way to avoid the high fees or hassles of checking bags, the more knowledge you have, the smoother the process will go. To make life easier, most large airlines have websites available that list the current rules. Check them frequently, as they often change some companies even change week to week!