Overweight baggage

Tips on Travelling with Oversized and Overweight Baggage

It is likely that you have experienced a situation when some of your bags were over the weight limit, or you had an item which was too large to take it as a hand baggage. This article contains some useful tips to help you avoid similar mistakes in the future, so keep on reading.

Check the extra costs before you book

The costs of travelling with oversized luggage varies wildly per airline- so if at all possible, check out your options before you book your flight. Don’t just consider the headline flight costs when making arrangements – check the costs of extra luggage / additional per kilo costs / costs for carrying sports equipment or musical instruments. You will be shocked how these differ from airline to airline. Scheduled airlines will often provide a higher baggage allowance as standard. Airlines will measure luggage by weight, size and length. Average ‘oversized’ measurements are usually anything over 20 to 32 kilograms and 62 inches depending on the class you are travelling in. Specifications vary so make sure you check before you start packing your bags.

Hand Luggage

Check the free hand luggage allowance for the airline and measure the size and weight of your item beforehand. You may be able to carry some larger items with you – such as musical instruments.
Pay in advance for your excess luggage.

Check with the airline to make sure they allow travelling with oversized and/or overweight luggage if you pay for the excess weight. If they do, get your luggage weighed so you know the likely cost: you could pay a fee for each extra piece of luggage and for each additional kilo over the standard allowance. Beware – it can be very expensive. To save time and money, it’s worth purchasing extra weight allowance online in advance. It will nearly always be significantly more costly at the airport.

Obtain comprehensive travel insurance

Travelling with an overweight and/or oversized luggage means that you are transporting more items that can get damaged, or lost – so make sure you purchase the right travel insurance policy to cover for such unwelcome events. Most airlines offer very limited compensation for damage during transit. When selecting the right policy, check the personal effects definitions, baggage limits and single article limits. You might need to consider getting extra cover depending on what you are transporting.

Are there any great tips that we forgot to discuss? Leave a comment below to let us and our readers know.

Get it shipped directly to your door

This can be very useful for bulky items you may wish to take – such as your trail bikes. To avoid the expensive airline costs, get organized in advance and consider the option of getting luggage shipped directly to your door instead. Note the whole shipping process requires pre-planning and time, so carry out your research; check costs and deliver times well in advance and give yourself enough time to pack all your essentials. You can then courier your bags right before your flight and expect delivery by the time you arrive at your destination. Don’t forget to check all the courier service regulations, tracking and insurance options.

Loyalty pays

You will usually get an increased allowance if you are part of an airlines loyalty programme – so check with your travel companions to see if any of you qualify and take advantage of any luggage benefits this may offer.