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#260087 12/18/07 12:09 AM
I just flew from England to Belize via Dallas, on American Airlines. My two checked bags didn't change during the stopover, one being a little over 50lb, the other closer to 70lb (but still under).

No comment was made when I checked in in England. When I re-checked in Dallas, however, I was told that all bags between 50lb and 70lb are surcharged, and furthermore that this has been AA practice for several years. I was forcibly parted from US$100.

I have flown between Belize and the UK many times over the past few years and I have never heard of this before. I checked with three American friends who fly internationally several times a year with various airlines and they had also never experienced this surcharge. Is this just another scam perpetrated by AA or is there some foundation for it? What about other airlines?

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
As far as I know, all airlines have gone to the 50 lb per bag limit, with a surcharge for between 50-70 of a certain amount and then something even heftier (no pun intended) if it is over 70 lb. As an example, Continental, generally won't take anything over 70 lbs.

For their limits and charges:

I guess you are going to have to start flying first class. As far as I know, First Class still gets to check 70 lb bags, regardless, your limit is 3 bags, not 2.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 139
I had a Belize friend fly home with us to Florida and spend a couple of weeks. She ended up leaving with two bags, one at 49 lbs and the other weighing in at about 67 lbs. A couple of days before I checked AA website and it stated that for the bag that weighed between 51 and 70 lbs the surcharge would be $25 USD.
When we arrived at the airport to check in we where informed that the charge was now $50 for the overweight piece. I told the lady that according to AA website that it was only suppose to be 25. She insisted that it was $50. Eventually another ticket agent wandered up to the counter and I complained to her about the increase from $25 to $50. She asked where she was going to and when I said Belize she said the charge was $25, that the $50 charge only applied to baggage inside of the US.
My Belize friend was refunded the $25 overcharge.
Next time I am going to printout the info from the website the night before and have it in my hand.
AA has another rate for bags that are over the 70lb limit.
Luggage must also conform to certain tape measure requirements or they can charge a surcharge for that. Only once have I had the people pull out a tape measure and measure the luggage and this also involved a friend going back to Belize. The bag was too long by five inches. Eventually the agent waived the fee after we plead ignorance, but not without a lecture.

Occasionally in years past AA has implemented an embargo to certain countries where you just can't check more than the two bags. You see plenty of people that are at the airport attempting to repack their bags when they find out about the

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,436
You always should check baggage regs. We usually bring about 500lbs of luggage with us, art supplies. Yes you pay extra for bags over 50lbs. It differs depending on where you are going. There are still a few routes that allow 75lbs, which may be what happened here on the outbound flight. There are also charges oversized bags.

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,299
I heard a good tip and I forget who gave it to me it was to have a light fold up bag so that if need be you can easily adjust the weight and shift things around.

San Pedro based Belize Blog since 2007 - great travel resources & discounts

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 991
Great idea, Tacogirl. I will be sure to stick a folded up bag in the exterior pocket of my luggage. Can't hurt, to be prepared.
We always weigh our luggage prior to getting to the counter, and without fail, AA is always at least five pounds heavier. So, we have learned to lessen the load by five and bring on another bag if we need to. But, sometimes, we come home with more, especially when we fly to Europe. That additional little bag will save us, I'm sure.

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'Oh sh t..she's awake!'
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,041
We always pack an empty back-pack that we can use while knocking around on the island and then can double as carry-on luggage for the homeward trip if we buy too much stuff (as we always do)!!

When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,018
First Class on Continental still allows up to 70 Lbs. They tend to be very forgiving if you're a little over that. First Class does have its perks.

I'm happier than a pig in s__t...a foot on the sand...and a Belikin in my hand!
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,294
Yes, as of recent Continental does not accept bags over 70 lbs. A lot of oji claims. Not worth it to injure the employees.

My friend traveled from IAH - BZE recently on Continental and was charged $25 for bag weighing 59 lbs.

Good idea taco. My family will desperse the weight. Even the 6 yr. old will have two checked bags! :P

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
I once got caught at Air Canada upon checkin for a flight to SE Asia. I had my two checked bags and my carryon bag and a PURSE. The representative at checkin, made me weigh my PURSE and my carryon bag. Of course, I was well over the weight limit for carryon. I complained that the weight was supposed to be for the carryon bag only, and she said NO, it is for all that is carried on.

This has never happened to me again, but I live in fear. :P

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

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