Airline baggage charges

Posted By: Anonymous

Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 06:09 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?
Posted By: seashell

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 06:23 AM

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.

Posted By: kcbc

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 11:11 AM

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

Posted By: Cooper

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 02:11 PM

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.
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 03:30 PM

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.

Posted By: Sun&sand

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 03:49 PM

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.
Posted By: KC Jayhawk

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 04:07 PM

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)!!
Posted By: Loansum-Al K

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 06:19 PM

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.
Posted By: travelqueen

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/18/07 06:43 PM

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
Posted By: seashell

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/19/07 02:36 AM

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
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/19/07 04:46 AM

A few years back I flew to California on American when the weight limit was 70 pounds. They changed it while I was there and tried to impose the 50 pound limit. I argued "How could I take home 40 pounds less than I brought?" Since my itinerary showed my dates they laughed and waived the overcharge.
Posted By: Cooper

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/19/07 02:31 PM

Airlines accept bags up to 100 lbs, $25 extra to 70lbs, another $25 to 100. for extra pieces it is usually $100 to $150 for up to 100 lbs. if you luggage is more than 62 linear inches their is also a charge. We bring about 500 lbs down twice a year. using different carriers. If your luggage is over 100 lbs it must go as cargo, which you can not arrange last minute. This is also true for animals, they and the carrier must not exceed 100 lbs, my poor pooch had to go on a diet and loose 8 lbs to come down.
Posted By: indygal

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/19/07 02:53 PM

$100us for an extra bag! I thought it was $50, but at check in, what could I do - pay.
Posted By: travelqueen

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/21/07 06:03 PM

Originally Posted by Cooper
Airlines accept bags up to 100 lbs, $25 extra to 70lbs, another $25 to 100.

Not all airlines.
Posted By: pugwash

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/21/07 11:43 PM

Each time down, we leave Moab,Utah (with about 5% humidity) with bags that weigh right at 50 lbs: after a week of diving, with the gear never reaklly getting dry and everything else just assuming the humidity of Belize, we typically end up with about 10-15 lbs of overage, which ends up being hand luggage.

If you join PADI, the bag they give you with your membership works great!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/22/07 06:28 AM

American told me they charge $50 from 50lb-70lb, and simply prohibit bags heavier than that. They also said their policy/practice hasn't changed for several years. I have a feeling they're rewriting history as I've often travelled with them, I always have heavy bags, and never before have I had a surcharge. Oh, except once when I turned up with a bag weighing 80lb and another weighing 40lb. They weighed both, then they sent the lighter one down the conveyor before telling me they wouldn't carry the heavier one at all. I had to go all the way up to the head honcho AND pay $100 to get the bag taken at all. When I pointed out I could have redistributed the weight had they told me before processing the lighter one they just shrugged.

I honestly think American are consistently the worst airline I'm forced to travel with. Two or three years ago they totally destroyed a brand new and expensive bag by what had evidently been severe mishandling, and refused to accept any responsibility. If they weren't the only airline travelling between Miami and Belize I would never use them.
Posted By: Cooper

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/23/07 03:00 AM

Crazy isnt it. This is what I did a few years ago when TACA kept changing regulations. I emailed them, acted like I did not understand the baggage requirements, I gave them my flight, date etc, the weight of my luggage and extra pieces, they emailed me back with exactly what I would be charged. I printed that out and had it on me in case of last minute price changes, or anything.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/23/07 06:25 AM

"American" aren't alone. My nephew and his GF flew from London to Andorra last winter, just for a long weekend break. It was a ski package marketed by BA. Routing was to fly to Barcelona, then be taken by minibus to Andorra.

On arrival at Barcelona their checked baggage was nowhere to be seen. The investigation that confirmed that the bags had never been on their aircraft took too long for the minibus driver, and he left without them. It was now well after dark, and they were left with little option but to spend the night in Barcelona - pleasant enough, but not what they wanted to do. They also had to take a taxi and 1.5 hours to buy some of the essentials that hadn't come with them. BA offered no help either with organisation or cost.

The following morning BA were very vague about where the luggage might be, and more significantly what my nephew should do about it, so he told them he was going to rent a car which would be charged to BA along with the costs already incurred. They almost laughed at him but he went ahead anyway, and the two of them did have two days on the snow (instead of the planned three).

Back in England he pursued his claim against BA, and they denied any responsibility beyond the IATA standard responsibility. So he said he would sue them for misrepresentation and fraud (they had marketed the ski package, which incidentally was upmarket and costly, not bargain basement). Only after he issued the writ did they realise he meant it, and they paid his claim in full.

His baggage turned up, undamaged and unopened, two months after the holiday had ended. It had apparently been sent to South America somewhere, and because no-one there knew what to do with it was just left in a storage room until a switched-on supervisor investigated.

I've read that BA have the worst record of any major carrier for losing baggage and this certainly bears that out. The big problem was their "couldn't care" attitude, which is precisely what I see in AA. Is this the way of the future, or is there anything we can do about it? It's become dramatically worse since 911, with "security" being cited as justification for every inefficiency and excess charge.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/24/07 03:15 PM

My special favorite with American is the part where you have to check in 2 hours before the flight BUT they have this interesting policy of opening the check-in desk only 1 hour before the early morning departure.

I don't much care for American either, but I've had a few nightmares with other carriers -- enough to make American look fairly good.
Avoid Aeropostal at all costs.

Posted By: Kra-Z-K

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/24/07 05:19 PM

LOL! I just experienced this last month for the first time. They opened the check in desk at 4am but I had a 5:10am flight. I almost missed my flight as when it was my turn to check my bags it was already past boarding time. Then had to do security which was long in Phily! They had to hold it for others, we had to leave late!
Posted By: beachbumin

Re: Airline baggage charges - 12/27/07 09:21 PM

Continental is enforcing their Latin America excess baggage embargo this holiday season, at least selectively. What that means is that for most Caribbean destinations you can not even pay extra for luggage that weighs more than 50 lbs. If you check their website, it does specify this as commencing Nov 15 for flights with a destination of Belize. The enforcement appears spotty and wholly dependent on the cycle of the moon. This just happened to my brother and sister-in-law today. But to make matters worse, their Continental flight from Kansas City arrived a bit late to Houston, so since the flight was over sold they were denied a seat; however, their luggage, made it to Belize. Thought this was against federal law with all the security issues we keep hearing about. At this point, they do not know when they will be reunited with their 50lb bags. Ought to be a law. From what I hear around the island this has happened a lot during this holiday season with both Continental and American Airlines. Bah Humbug!!
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