How right she is.
According to CBS News and USA Today, a number of airlines have raised their prices on overweight bags recently to rates that echo the airfares themselves.
Continental's price for a bag weighing between 71 and 100 pounds on an international flight is now a whopping $400. United Airlines is charging that same fee for bags of that weight on intercontinental flights. But the most egregious fee award has to be given to American Airlines, which socks Asia-bound passengers with a $450 fee per overweight bag.
And what about the regular, first-bag fees? Those are averaging an ugly $38 on domestic flights and $43 internationally.
With fees this high, travelers need to be more careful than ever before about how they pack and book air travel. Some suggestions:
- Pack Light: We'll start with the obvious solution: don't carry the world in your suitcase! The last time I checked a bag was on Ryanair this summer (as their carry-on regulations are the smallest in the industry). Before that, it had been years since I'd checked a bag. And you know what? I enjoy my travels more with less stuff along. I'm not endangering my back, I can move from place to place quicker, I never have to worry about lost luggage when I board and I get out of the airport much faster than my fellow passengers. Try it, you'll like it!
- Ship: With fees this high, it will be cheaper to ship luggage in many instances. For a recent piece detailing the prices involved and the methods of shipping available to travelers, click here.
- Price in luggage fees when you're looking at airfares: Though Southwest, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue sometimes seem like the pricier option, they may end up costing less than other carriers because of their generous baggage policies. Add up all the fees before you book your next flight.
- Buy lighter luggage: Sometimes its the weight of the bag itself that will put you over the top!