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Avoiding excess baggage

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Avoiding excess baggage

Post by Y I N G on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 3:22 am

It happens to the best of us. Try as we might to keep within the allowed limit, we find ourselves going over. Even with the baggage allowance given by airlines, it's still not enough. So what do you do?

If you are traveling with friends or family, you can opt to check in as a group. That way, your baggage allowance will be added up and the lighter bags can offset the extra weight of the heavier bags.

One way to avoid paying extra for baggage is getting tickets that give free baggage allowance. Though most budget airlines do away with this to keep fares low, there are still a number that offer at least 10- or 15-kilos for free. Canvass around and see which airline will give you the best value fare. Regular airlines still have the standard 20-23 kilos on economy for one check-in luggage (two 23-kilo luggage for flights to the United States), so this is also one option you can look into.

If you are migrating or going overseas to study, you may want to look into special student or migrant fares. Airlines like Qantas offer these special fares to those moving abroad that allows them to check in luggage up to 40-kilos. Special fares from US$650 give you an additional 10-kilo on top of your 23-kilos baggage allowance, while fares from US$750 give you an additional 17-kilo. These, however, are for one-way tickets.

Not all airlines offer the same fares though. Some airline instead suggests that you purchase a business class or even a first class ticket, which gives you a 30-kilo and 40-kilo allowance respectively. Unfortunately, this option comes at an exorbitant price (coupled with premium service on and off the ground) and is not a viable option except for those with serious cash to throw around. Business class tickets are sometimes given at a discount, so it's also good to ask around.

On the other hand, if you are left with no choice but to fly budget, you might consider pre-paying for excess baggage if you know you'll be bringing a lot of stuff to your destination. Low cost carriers offer lower rates for pre-paid excess baggage, saving you up to 40% compared to paying for excess charges at the check-in counter.

Another alternative for those moving overseas is to avail of the services of a freight forwarder. They can arrange the shipping of your bulky and heavy items to your new home. Items are usually carried by ship and land transports, and can take up to a month or two to get to your destination. The great thing about this option though is that you're not restricted by the weight of your cargo - rates are computed based on the size of your cargo.

This option is not just for migrants. Travelers who went overboard shopping can also opt for this solution. Shops catering to tourists that sell furniture or art pieces can usually arrange for the item to be shipped to your home so you won't have to lug it around with you for the rest of your trip.

Didn't shop that much but would still love to offload some things from your luggage? You have three options: leave it behind, donate it to a local charity or mail it home. The post office isn't just for sending postcards; it's for sending parcels too. Check with the local postal office regarding their mailing policies and restrictions (food is usually not accepted). Some require that they check your items first before accepting it, so it's best to ask ahead before sealing your package for sending.

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