5 Ways to Save Money on Baggage When You Fly

Last Updated Jun 13, 2010 10:01 PM EDT

No one looks forward to air travel any more. There are invasive security checks, long lines, food service has all but disappeared, and now the latest indignity: Fees for baggage. Not only do you have to pay to check bags these days, but some airlines are starting to charge for carry-ons as well. It pays to think about ways to reduce those carry-on costs.

WiseBread recently cataloged 5 ways to minimize baggage fees when flying. Here are a few of the highlights, along with some of our own advice.

  1. Do business with airlines which offer free baggage. These airlines are almost extinct but deals still exist. Southwest Airlines, for example still let you check two bags free of charge.
  2. Consider the total cost when shopping for the best fare. The price you see in Expedia or Travelocity is only part of the story. Be sure to factor in what each airline charges for luggage. It can make a bargain look a lot less attractive.
  3. Use a credit card that offers free baggage. There are such animals out there. Delta, for example, has announced that if you have a Delta American Express SkyMiles credit card, you won't be charged baggage for your first checked bag.
  4. Avoid excess baggage fees. Don't pay the sucker fee of showing up at the airport with a bag that's 3 pounds too heavy, so you get socked with even more fees. Check the weight limits at home, before it's too late.
  5. And last, but not least, don't forget some advice we gave you some months ago: It can be cheaper to ship your baggage via an overnight service than to check luggage at the airport.