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

Oct 19, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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 and American Express® Gold Card.

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

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.