Flight secrets: How to avoid excess baggage charges with these simple tricks

Airlines often have a weight and size restriction on baggage to ensure that the aircraft isn’t too heavy. You can usually pay a small price for more weight but many often face the dreaded scales at the airport. The Points Guy has revealed top tips on how to avoid extra unwanted costs.


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The Points Guy is an American travel website that often shares top tips when it comes to flying and travelling.

On many flights, the first piece of luggage is free. This tends to be hand luggage that is stored in the overhead lockers.

However, the bag must be small enough to fit overhead and be of a certain weight.

The second piece of luggage which you can check in usually comes at a small price with many airlines starting prices at around £30.

They explain how there are four main ways you can avoid paying checked baggage fees on your next flight.

The website says: “Hold elite status (or travel with a friend/family member with elite status)…Carry the right credit card (or travel with a friend/family member with the right card).

“Purchase a premium ticket (typically premium economy, business and/or first class)…Travel under a special circumstance or to a specific destination.”

Also, some airlines don’t charge for checked baggage, it just depends on who you are flying with but it is always worth reading the small print first.

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The most easy way to avoid unwanted costs when arriving at the airport is to weigh your bags before you arrive.

You can purchase travel scales from many places and they will give you an indication on how heavy your bag weighs and whether or not it is your allowed weight.

The Points Guy also recommends trying to just take one hand luggage item, this way there will be no surprising costs.

The website says: “Another strategy for avoiding checked bag fees is to attempt to cram everything you need into a carry-on size suitcase.


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“As long as you make it through security, you should be able to check it at the gate for no charge (as long as you aren’t in basic economy.

“With many flights at or near capacity, most gate agents will gladly take bags of your hands if it means fewer travellers trying to cram roll-boards into the overhead bins during the boarding process.”

Posting on forum site Reddit, one flier posted: “Not much of a traveller. My checked bag is overweight, albeit not by much but I cannot eliminate anymore or re-pack using personal item any further etc. Please help me.”

Hundreds of people commented on how this person could make sure that they don’t have to pay any excess baggage fees when they arrive at the airport.

One person commented: “Have you tried dressing in layers?”

The more clothes you are wearing, the less your bag will cost. For example, layering up t-shirts and hoodies could save you from paying the extra costs.

Another person said: “Are you certain you can’t take things out? Most people overpack when travelling.

“Otherwise wear your heavy clothes on the plane, and put things in your personal bag.”

Your personal bag refers to your hand luggage which you can take onboard.

It is always advised to put your most valuable items in your hand luggage in case your hold suitcase gets lost.

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