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Understanding airlines baggage rules

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I would like to get this thread full of info about the baggage rules for various airlines so we can all have a good understanding of what we are in for on our upcoming ski trips. The rules can be confusing so it would be great to have all of the allowance and extra charges detailed here for ski specific travel. Maybe we can make it a sticky.

I'm traveling Delta this year so I will start with that.

Delta baggage rules:
  • When traveling within the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico you can check one bag, per passenger, free of charge.
  • When traveling to or from cities outside the United States you can check two bags, per passenger, free of charge.
Each bag must:
  • Weigh 50 pounds (22.5 kg) or less
  • Not exceed 62 inches when you total length + width + height
Ski equipment:
  • One item of ski or snowboard equipment is accepted as the passenger's one free checked bag.
One item of ski or snowboard equipment is defined as:
  • One ski/pole bag or one snowboard bag, and
  • One boot bag
Excess Baggage Fees:

U.S. -
  • Bag 2 - $50
  • Bag 3 - $150
  • Bag 4-10 - $200
Outside U.S. -
  • Bag 2 - no fee
  • Bag 3- $200
  • Bag 4 & 5 - $350
post #2 of 14
Southwest still doesn't charge extra for baggage.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Southwest still doesn't charge extra for baggage.
Since I live very near ISP airport which is served by Southwest I check them frequently. Unfortunately, their fares to all ski country destinations seem to be way above all the other airlines rendering the free baggage nothing more than a phoney sales pitch so far this season.

They're so high right now I hardly even bother to check them any more. In the past you'd see a good sale now and then but not lately. At least from LI, they have become the I have a condo in Florida airline, and that's about it.

* I only speak for how badly fares have changed here on LI. I have to mention however, that Philly seems to have some great airfares while we get killed here just a little further north. I'm not sure why but I'm now making a habit of checking fares there regularly. In many cases it seems worth the trip especially if I'm taking the family.
post #4 of 14

Save This Link

Here's a good summary:
http://www.kayak.com/airline-fees


Bottom line for most skiers with a checked clothing bag and a ski bag:

1) Add $80 - $100 on top of every advertised airfare for your True Airfare.

2) Find a decent fare (if you can) and fly to Canada where you pay what's advertised.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post
Here's a good summary:
http://www.kayak.com/airline-fees
Nice link...thanks. Last trip we UPS'd boots, helmets, gloves and googles to Whistler. Saved us a lot of grief.
post #6 of 14
Couple of notes:

Delta's 2nd bag fee is only waived for Delta's own Medallion Elites, not for any of their partners. This is different from most of the other airlines' 1st/2nd bag fees, where if you are an elite with a partner in their alliance, the fee is waived. For example, if you're a 25K/year United flyer or a BMI Diamond Club Silver or Lufthansa Frequent Traveler in Star Alliance, and give that # to US Airways or to Air Canada, those airlines will waive their fee. If you're a Cathay Pacific or LAN Chile elite in oneworld and give that # to American, American will waive their bag fees. If you're a KLM or Alitalia or AeroMexico elite in SkyTeam, and give that # to Northwest or Continental, they will waive their bag fees. But Delta isn't waiving it for any of their SkyTeam partners, even their merger partner Northwest (until they actually merge.) However everybody gets the first bag free on Delta.

United just raised their SECOND bag fee by 100% to $50. They still consider a ski bag (or snowboard bag) plus a boot bag as one piece of luggage. However now to check 2 bags on United, if you're not on a premium cabin ticket and don't have Star Alliance Silver or higher status in them or one of their 20-some partners, it will cost you $65 ($15 1st + 50 2nd) each way. This is now the highest set of 1st+2nd bag fees in the industry and is in my opinion totally indefensible.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkXS View Post
....it will cost you $65 ($15 1st + 50 2nd) each way. This is now the highest set of 1st+2nd bag fees in the industry and is in my opinion totally indefensible.

Only one thing left to say: AMTRAK
Not good for everybody but no b.s baggage fees.

I might just be taking AMTRAK from NYC to Whitefish over the 2 week Xmas break. For a family of 4 it saves at least $2,100
compared to current air (with ski bags) from NYC to Kalispell.

Yeah, I'm packin' up my Good and Plenty's and heading west:

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Southwest still doesn't charge extra for baggage.

southwest doesn't fly into jackson hole either = (
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post
I might just be taking AMTRAK from NYC to Whitefish over the 2 week Xmas break. For a family of 4 it saves at least $2,100
compared to current air (with ski bags) from NYC to Kalispell.
Allow me to quote myself here for the sake of you deal seekers out there. In addition to the above savings, had my kids both been under 16 then I'd save another $500 on top of that! That's some pretty serious cash. Well worth blowing an extra 4 vacation days to save $2,600 if you ask me.
post #10 of 14
In today's USA Today, there's an interesting article about the airline baggage issue. I'm on planes several times a month and am having to pack my stuff in very small bags in order to have any confidence of getting them under my seat and in the overhead bin.

This article also shows how much revenue airlines have generated (Q2 07 versus Q2 08) from "excess baggage." What's not clear is if this revenue is strictly the result of the new "pay for checked bags" policies. American report $30 million in Q2 07 and $37.1 in Q2 08. Delta reports $22.4 in 07 and a cool $42.5 in 08. Holy socks, Batman!

On my way to Phoenix yesterday I saw some pretty hefty-sized bags (not Hefty Bags) being hurled in the overhead bins. (I know because one of the hurlers lost her grip and the bag fell on my shoulder. ) These are bags that have normally been checked and are now being carried on. Passengers relegated to the dreaded Boarding Zone 8 (that's me tonight on the red-eye home) risk having no room left in the bins and may have to check their carry-ons at the last minute. Bah.

I don't rant much (quiet, UL!) but this really gets my goat. Paying for bags, paying for the formerly complimentary beverage and snack, paying for blankets and pillows...I don't want to think about what's next. Surely reliable service and ontime flight schedules are pure fantasy....

Sigh. I'd say "Carry on, mates" but the pun is just too much, even for me!
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post
Only one thing left to say: AMTRAK
Not good for everybody but no b.s baggage fees.

I might just be taking AMTRAK from NYC to Whitefish over the 2 week Xmas break. For a family of 4 it saves at least $2,100
compared to current air (with ski bags) from NYC to Kalispell.
Amtrak to Whitefish is actually a sweet ride, if you get into the right mindset. I did Boston to Whitefish a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Going over "Hi-Line" along the northern mid-west is scenic in a subtle way. Nothing spectacular but pretty. They had a guide onboard for part of the trip with info about some of the history. Also pointed out the nuclear missile sites along the way just off from the tracks.

If you get into Chicago on time, I think you'll have a few hours to sightsee around the Loop.

Had a really long delay in Albany-Renssallear waiting for the NYC main-leg of the Lake Shore Limited (the "Late for sure limited") train to meet up with the Boston stub, so I didn't have too much time on that trip, but still got out and wandered around. Something you can't do on most airport layovers.

The Chicago-Whitefish Empire Builder is run by the BNSF, whic unlike some of the other freight railways forced to run Amtrak trains, actually likes and profits from running the service and takes pride on running it on-time.

Should be a good trip. Be sure to join Amtrak Guest Rewards (their Frequent travel program) and get the numbers on your tickets - you might be able to earn some future travel, or at least have enough to redeem later for a $25 gift card at some store or restaurant.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post

On my way to Phoenix yesterday I saw some pretty hefty-sized bags (not Hefty Bags) being hurled in the overhead bins. (I know because one of the hurlers lost her grip and the bag fell on my shoulder. ) These are bags that have normally been checked and are now being carried on. Passengers relegated to the dreaded Boarding Zone 8 (that's me tonight on the red-eye home) risk having no room left in the bins and may have to check their carry-ons at the last minute. Bah.

I don't rant much (quiet, UL!) but this really gets my goat. Paying for bags, paying for the formerly complimentary beverage and snack, paying for blankets and pillows...I don't want to think about what's next. Surely reliable service and ontime flight schedules are pure fantasy....

Sigh. I'd say "Carry on, mates" but the pun is just too much, even for me!

RRRant away. As I will too! Airlines have let bags on as carry-on that truly should not be carry-on and they have been doing it for way too many years. You ever get stuck at the back end of a plane and missed your flight(to Utah) because the fifty people in front can't get their entire household contents and the dog out of the hold???

Anyway, if they charge for bags, they should charge for carry-on too. Only fair and simple. It will stop people from bringing that packed moose in their carry-on. Not that they should charge anyway but they have been doing it in Europe for the past 4 years already. All airlines are going to do it soon enough. It's the way of the world unfortunately. It's the prices they charge that are nuts.

On another note...

United will be charging this season...

One way

15 dollars for first bag

50 dollars for second (this will be your skis and board bags folks)

That is 130 round trip on top of your plane fare. Unless you get a big bag for clothes and equipment. Someone quick, design a new bag...

I can imagine what that will cost for a family travelling with children and equipment!!!

Oil will kill this planet.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathB View Post
United will be charging this season....
Here's a solution. Don't fly united....
post #14 of 14
V true. Some destinations have little choice and even less flight times.

Solution just don't fly period!
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