Easy ways to avoid having to wear your entire suitcase on your next flight

Oct 19, 2019

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A woman in the Philippines went viral after wearing what appeared to be her entire suitcase to avoid having to pay baggage fees.

The woman, who declined to identify the airline to ABC News, said her bag was overweight by 4 lbs.

when the airline staff at the check in counter said: “EXCESS NA PO KAYO, 7kg lang po allowed na hand carry.”me: NO PROBLEM! ????*from 9kg to 6.5kg baggage ????#ExcessBaggageChallengeAccepted

Posted by Gel Rodriguez on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

“I [was] a little bit worried about my flight schedule because it took me time to put the clothes on,” Rodriguez told ABC. “I felt the fun afterward when we successfully landed in our area and that was also the time that we took the funny photo.”

While Rodriguez’s methods to avoid paying hefty fines were certainly creative, there are less stressful (and hot) ways to avoid baggage fees.

Holding elite status (or traveling with a friend/family member with elite status) can also protect you. Travelers who purchase a premium ticket (premium economy, business and/or first class) generally don’t pay to check a bag.

Of course, carrying the right credit card will also help.

Some co-branded airline cards offer checked bag perks. For instance, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card waives the first checked bag fee. American Airlines offers several cards that waive checked bag fees when flying domestically, such as the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express all offer priority boarding and a first checked bag free for you and your companions (for a total of up to nine travelers on the same reservation).

If you hold certain American Express cards, you’re covered if you need to (or are forced) to check a bag through the airline fee credit. That ranges from $100 to $250 per year, depending on which card you hold, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (up to $200 airline fee credit each calendar year) and American Express® Gold Card (up to $100 airline fee credit each calendar year). Enrollment required for select benefits. 

If you’re in the U.S., you have good reason to be anxious about baggage fees.

As I wrote last month, U.S. airlines collected $1.5 billion in baggage fees, or 2.9% of total operating revenue, through the end of the second quarter. The number one culprit: American Airlines, which collected over $667 million in baggage fees through the end of the second quarter. The airline also topped the list in 2017 and 2018.

Featured image courtesy of STIL on Unsplash

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