How to Save on Checked Bag Fees

Sometimes you just can’t travel light, so here are some strategies for saving money on your checked baggage fees.

In general for  U.S. flights, it’s cheaper to check two bags than to check one overweight bag. Using Delta as an example:

Main Cabin

First checked bag at 50 lbs (23 kg): $25

Second checked bag at 50 lbs (23 kg): $35.


Overweight Fees

Overweight bag weighing 51-70 lbs (23 – 31.75 kg): $100

Overweight bag weighing 71-100 lbs (32 – 45.36 kg): $200

Example for 100 lbs of baggage:

One overweight 100 lb bag costs $200 vs. two 50 lbs bags for $60.

Savings: $140!

Other Cost Saving Tricks

  1. Most airline credit cards offer the first checked bag for free, and sometimes for other people on the same booking.
  2. Verified Alaska residents in Alaska Airline’s Club 49, receive two free checked bags on Alaska Airline flights to/from the state.
  3. Budget airlines often have a different business model – from charging higher fees for carry on vs. checked, to charging more if you pay at the airport vs. online. You can also save money on their bundle pricing  when booking.
  4. On Delta, first class passengers receive two free 70 lbs/32 kg bags (vs 50 lbs).   So it might be worth spending the money on an upgrade to get 140 lbs of baggage (not to mention the more comfy flight) vs. paying the checked bag fees.

As you can see, it’s worth the time to read the small print before your flight!

Do you have any other baggage tricks?

Photo: © Teri Soares | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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