Airlines strict about baggage weight limits?

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Jun 18th, 2003, 01:25 PM
  #1
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Airlines strict about baggage weight limits?

We bought a HUGE suitcase a few years ago thinking it would be great because my husband and I could both fit everything in one bag. We soon learned it wasn't a smart purchase because 1) it's so heavy to carry when packed, 2) there are airline baggage weight limits, and 3) it hardly fits in some places (e.g. small trunks). That being said, we might try to use it during an upcoming trip. We're flying Delta and I see the weight limit is 50 pounds. We haven't packed yet, but assuming we go over, do you know how strict they are? Do they weigh every bag or only the ones that feel really heavy? Will they charge you if it's 51 pounds or not charge you until it's more like 65? Does anyone want to buy a really big suitcase...cheap?

Thanks.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 01:30 PM
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The bottom line is that you can assume that you will be charged if your suitcase is over the weight limit, even by a pound. Every suitcase that is being checked-in is weighed.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 01:31 PM
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The airlines are strict, yes. And this is not just so they can gouge you on the ticket price. This is a safety issue. Even on large planes, cargo weight has an impact on plane operation-- fuel consumption, load balances, etc. In small commuter planes, this becomes vitally important. Don't forget, it looks like that US Air crash in Charlotte earlier this year was partially due to an overweight plane.

If you really feel you will exceed the 50-pound limit with this bag, I would strongly suggest NOT taking it.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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Chrissy4 I wonder if we bought identical bags. We bought a monster too, just before going to England. Not only was it huge, but it was (is) a Tumi so a signifcant price tag to boot. It barely fit into the trunk of our little car there. What a pain!

In Gatwick for our return trip, we were advised that the suitcase was too heavy. There was no fine...we had to lighten it, period. There we were in line at the check-in counter, a rather long line behind us, everyone impatient because the lines at Gatwick are out of sight, (we'd been IN line for 2 hours at this point!) and we have this monster open on the floor in front of us, desperately trying to transfer items from one suitcase to another to meet their limit. Fortunately it didn't entail many items because I'd bought a cast iron cookbook stand and trivet...and those things alone plus a coffee table book made the difference, BUT of course they weren't on top and we were pawing through all our dirty clothes to get to them. Argh...I could hear the silent curses behind us, and didn't blame them in the least!

OK...anyone want a really big Tumi? It's been used only once, though it has seen action on the floor in Gatwick. Seriously..I'm thinking of putting it on EBay.
 
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Jun 18th, 2003, 02:01 PM
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Excess Weight
51 - 70 pounds $25 per bag
71 - 100 pounds 80 per bag
Ecesss Size
More than 62 inches
L + H + W $80 per bag
No getting around it.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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They weigh EVERY bag. On an international flight we had to do the routine of opening the bags to switch items back and forth (one was 3lbs over and the other was 5lbs under). It took us forever to get them both under 70lbs--we kept moving too much from the overweight one causing the other to be overweight instead. Moral of the story: CAREFULLY weigh your bag at home--1lb over and you will pay.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 02:21 PM
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I am American Gold with almost 2 million miles flown. Just went to Dallas. My bag was 56 pounds. They collected $25.00 from me on the spot. No way to get out of it unless I unloaded. My wife and I are now dumping the old heavy hardsides (which have been great) and going to soft with less stuff packed.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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You are going to pay if it's too heavy. That is how it is now, so if you don't want to waste time checking in, just lighten the load or take two bags.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 08:56 PM
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We have been on several flights on several airlines since this new restriction and we found they all were very strict. We knew about it ahead of time and made sure we were under the limits but several other passengers were repacking right near check-in. They seemed upset as they thought they'd just let them be over the limit and forget it -I didn't and that's why we weiged our luggage before we left home. We were surprised that we were considerably under even tho we haul a bunch of heavy things we need for our business. Lucky I guess!!
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Jun 19th, 2003, 03:29 AM
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Reason (4) not to pack everything in one huge suitase: If it gets lost or delayed, you're completely out of stuff! When we check luggage (which is rarely), if we check more than one piece we switch-off at least one outfit, so if one person's suitcase goes astray they at least have a few things in the other piece.
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Jun 19th, 2003, 05:35 AM
  #11
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Thanks everyone. I will plan on bringing two suitcases. As for the dumb purchase, maybe I'll turn it into a dog bed, or that kitchen pantry I've longed for, or a filing cabinet...
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Jun 19th, 2003, 05:51 AM
  #12
GoTravel
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You know when you check in for your flight and have to hoist your bag on that little platform thing? It is a scale.
 
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Jun 19th, 2003, 06:24 AM
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I think the most important thing to remember is that is the bag is over 62 inches (which somebody has already touched on), it's almost assuredly TOO big.

Now, will the airlines weigh or measure every single bag? probably not. Will some oversize and overweight bags get through? probably.

But for peace of mind, if the bag is bigger than 62 inches, I wouldn't use it.
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Jun 19th, 2003, 06:42 AM
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I've only traveled once with checked bags since the new policy started, however, I didn't have any problems. We packed three bags for a Hawaii trip. Newark to Honolulu was on Continental and then 3 interisland flights on Aloha. I know that one of our bags was over 60lbs and the second may have been slightly over 50. I tried to rearrange stuff but gave up and decided not to worry about it.

Did curbside check-in for the Continental flight. The agent picked up the bag and seemed to loosely weigh it in his mind. He didn't say anything. No charges. For the Aloha flights, we checked in at the ticket counter and never had a problem, despite the scale.

I would recommend curbside check-in and a couple bucks in tips if it's an issue. It might work. Also, I read after the trip that Continental Elite members do not have to pay the extra charges. Not sure about other airlines though.

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Jun 19th, 2003, 06:50 AM
  #15
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I have found many uses for old oversized suitcases and 2 old footlockers (does anyone use those anymore?). Great for storage of out-of-season clothing. Good for storing blankets, spreads, etc. Useful when moving so you can pack contents of your bureau drawers in them (and have movers move them) instead of having the stuff dumped into cardboard boxes (as one set of packers did).

But I can also imagine filling them with dirt and planting annuals to decorate your front yard. Or painting them in gay primary colors for accent pieces in your living room. Can also be used to stash unwanted corpses, old 8-track tapes and tape players, your second set of accounting books, your "alternate" clothing if you're a cross-dresser, or popcorn for a really long movie.
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Jun 19th, 2003, 07:49 AM
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Really funny, CFC! ;-D

What about cutting air holes in it and using it to take your dog to the vet?

(Sorry, not as funny as yours!)
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Jun 19th, 2003, 08:38 AM
  #17
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Have flown several times recently on different airlines and have found that ALL the ticket counters are equipped with scales, and they are very strict. If you have two bags, and one is under the limit, you can transfer items, but that's it--if it's over, you pay.
Curbside, it's a different story: they don't usually have scales, and will only go inside to weigh bags that look huge or feel much too heavy, so one could conceivably get away with a few extra pounds there.
Our gigantic bag, which we also found more convenient to schlep than 3 small ones, is now relegated to car trips only.
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