We’ve all been there. You’ve stuffed your luggage to the brim on your trip, and now your luggage is a little on the heavy side.
But, how could you have avoided this in the first place? Well, in this article we talk you through all of our best tips so that you don’t end up forking out cash at the gate.
1. Bring a backup digital luggage scale
Are you 2kg overweight? Then it’s going to cost you. For domestic flights, it’s not quite as bad, but for international travel, it’s definitely more.
If you’re convinced that the scales at your house or accommodation are a little dodgy, or you reckon you can sneak in a few cheeky purchases in under the 7kg mark – then you might want to double check to be sure.
A digital luggage scale is a super handy item to have in this instance – whether you’re travelling internationally or domestically. This one from Korjo can weigh up to 44kg, is easy to read and is nice and lightweight at 110 grams as well. All you have to to do is attach it to your bag, lift it up, wait for the beep, put it down and it’ll tell you the weight of your luggage. Just check that you turn off the scales to save on the battery life so that it doesn’t die on you in the critical moment!
If you are over, at least you have time to put on your extra jumper, ditch your extra toiletries, or throw out the packaging from your holiday souvenirs that you don’t need before you arrive at the airport.
A portable luggage scale gives you an accurate reading of the weight of your bag wherever you are. Image: Korjo
2. Carry the lightest bag you have
This one seems like it might be obvious, but if you’ve been using the same clunky carry-on since the dawn of time, then it might be time to ditch it in for one that’s a little more streamlined and lightweight.
You still want something structured to protect your belongings. But heavy hardware and extra bits of plastic are not going to do you any favours in the weight department.
Weigh your bag before you use it so that you know exactly how much it’s setting you back. You’d be surprised how heavy luggage can be on its own!
A lighter carry-on is the easiest step to reducing your travel weight. Image: Eagle Creek
3. Check the rules thoroughly
We all subscribe to those websites that send you amazing travel deals. A weekend to the Gold Coast for an absolute steal, or a week in Thailand without draining your savings account. But have you checked the baggage limit, or any other limitations before you hit ‘check out’? It might be too good to be true.
If you’ve already thought about hitting the shops and treating yourself to some holiday souvenirs, then you might want to reign yourself back in. It might be too good to be true, so read up on the finer details so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
The rule of thumb is that the more budget the airline, the more likely they are to crack down on overweight luggage.
Check out our table below which has all the details on the size and carry on weight limits for all the major airlines worldwide.
Airline carry on allowances
|Airline||Carry On Allowance||Max Dimensions||Max. Weight|
|Air Asia||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||56cm x 36cm x 23cm||7kg|
|Air New Zealand||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||Combined length, width and height to be under 118cm||7kg|
|British Airways||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||56cm x 45cm x 25cm||23kg|
|Cathay Pacific||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||56cm x 36cm x 23cm||7kg|
|China Airlines||1 cabin bag||56cm x 36cm x 23cm||7kg|
|Emirates||1 cabin bag||55cm x 38cm x 20cm||7kg|
|Etihad Airways||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||50cm x 40cm x 25cm||7kg|
|Fiji Airways||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||55cm x40cm x 23cm||7kg|
|Garuda Indonesia||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||56cm x 36cm x 23cm||7kg|
|Japan Airlines||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||55cm x 40cm x 25cm||10kg|
|Jetstar||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||55cm x 36cm x 23cm||7kg|
|KLM||1 cabin bag||55cm x 35cm x 25cm||12kg|
|Lufthansa||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||55cm x 40cm x 23cm||8kg|
|Malaysia Airlines||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||55cm x 35cm x 25cm||7kg|
|Qantas||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||48cm x 34cm x 23cm||7kg|
|Qatar Airways||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||50cm x 37cm x 25cm||7kg|
|Scoot||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||54cm x 38cm x 23cm||7kg|
|Singapore Airlines||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||Combined length, width and height to be under 118cm||7kg|
|Thai Airways||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||56cm x 45cm x 25cm||7kg|
|Tigerair||2 bags||54cm x 38cm x 23cm||7kg|
|United||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||56cm x 35cm x 22cm||No weight limit|
|Virgin Australia||1 cabin bag + 1 personal item||48cm x 34cm x 23cm||7kg|
Personal items include handbag, briefcase, laptop computer, camera bag, crutches, umbrella, etc
Table correct as of March 9th, 2018
4. Buy additional baggage online, not at the airport!
If you’re planning on packing extra or taking home some new purchases – then you will save money by buying extra baggage before the flight. This is because overweight baggage fees are higher than pre-purchasing additional baggage.
If you just know that you’ll want that extra wiggle room when it comes to weight, then bite the bullet and buy additional baggage before your flight.
If you do need extra storage space, having a lightweight duffle bag with you as well as compression travel bags for packing will come in handy. They won’t save weight, but you will be able to squeeze more gear in if your bag is overflowing.
If you know you need to pack more than just the bare necessities, purchase additional baggage. Image: Eagle Creek
5. Use your frequent flyer points
If you’re lucky enough to travel regularly, then you’ve probably racked up some frequent flyer points on your account.
What you might not know is that some airlines – such as Qantas, allow you to use them to buy additional baggage before your flight, which is a perfect solution to an overstuffed suitcase.
Don’t be that crazy looking person pulling on an extra pair of pants, three jumpers and two coats on at the baggage counter – prepare for your trip so that you can (hopefully) breeze through the airport without any extra fees or charges.
Do you have any other handy tips for avoiding overweight baggage fees? Let us know in the comments. For more travel tips and inspiration, head here.
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