Planning on a honeymoon or romantic vacation that involves flying? If so, knowing and abiding by the latest airline baggage rules, regulations, and fees can help to make your journey go more smoothly. Check out these tips on flying with luggage to find out what you need to know to travel like a pro.01of 09
Know the Size and Weight Limits for Carry-on Bags
Variables such as the aircraft used and passenger load may affect the size of carry-on bags allowed on an airplane. For instance, the overhead bins on a small commuter plane may simply not be able to accommodate the same size carry-on luggage as a jet. Check with the individual airline you are flying regarding the permissible dimensions of carry-on luggage for your particular flight.
If your carry-on bag is rejected as too big when you approach the door of the airplane, do not argue with the flight attendant if you hope to board the plane. Remove only essential items and relinquish the bag. The carry-on may or may not be tagged but will fly separately from you. You can reclaim it either at the gate or with the regular checked luggage.
Carefully Edit Your Carry-on Baggage
Pack valuable items and things you cannot live without in a small carry-on bag. The basics include your passport and travel documents, medications, jewelry, and extra eyeglasses if needed. Once those are secured, ask yourself what you would need to get by for a day if your luggage didn’t arrive. An extra set of underwear, birth control, and cosmetics might make your list.
Third, consider what food, entertainment, and other items would help you to make it through a flight comfortably, especially if it spans several hours. If traveling economy class, bring a sandwich or snack. Magazines, a book, and an iPod can help the hours fly by. Splurging on noise-cancelling earphones may help you sleep easier onboard and muffle screaming babies.
Limit Liquids that You Carry
TSA rules about bringing liquids aboard a plane remain in effect:
- A maximum of one, quart-size, clear plastic zip-top bag is allowed in carry-on per person
- This plastic bag can contain containers of liquid or gel that measure 3.4 ounces or fewer
- Don’t expect to bring your own bottled water to drink — you’ll have to dispose of it to pass through security
Watch Your Weight
Most airlines permit passengers to check one piece of luggage. However, there are weight limits to the standard free baggage allowance. For instance, American Airlines on all of its domestic and most of its international flights restricts checked bags to 50 pounds.
In most cases, passengers whose luggage exceeds the airline’s weight allowance are charged a fee. Check with your individual airline to determine how heavy your baggage can be without paying more for it to fly with you. Luggage in excess of 70 pounds may not be permitted at all.
Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale (check price)Continue to 5 of 9 below.
Know the Cost of a Checked Bag
Starting in 2008, many major and smaller airlines changed their checked-luggage policy to charge passengers for checking a second piece of luggage. Initial fees ran as low as $10 on AirTran and $20 on JetBlue to $25 on larger airlines. Prices have since increased.
If you are traveling heavy but on a budget, check with your airline to determine the fee for a second bag and whether you will be charged for overweight luggage.
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Note: On some airlines, including American, you may even be charged to check a single piece of luggage. Aer Lingus, for example, charges a fee to check baggage on short-haul flights within the UK, Ireland, and Europe. You can pay the fee at the airport or online, which is cheaper.06of 09
Use TSA-recognized Luggage Locks
A division of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) claims to screen every passenger’s baggage before it is placed on an airplane. If their security inspectors decide to physically open a piece of luggage, they may break the lock unless it is a TSA-approved one that officers can open using a universal master key. TSA locks have a flame or sideways diamond logo that identify them.