How to Get Away With Overweight Luggage: 7 Useful Tips

Are you worried about carrying a suitcase that weighs more than allowed and paying for the ridiculous fees that come with it? Don’t stop reading now. Below you will come across seven useful tips on how to get away with overweight luggage. By the time that you reach the end of this article, you will have an idea of what to do just in case.

Make sure that you repost this after checking out its entirety so that your family and friends who love to travel and refuse to pack light may be able to check out the smart tips below, too!

Packing for a trip can be stressful. Learning that your luggage is over the weight limit once you’re at the check-in counter can leave you even more stressed. When your luggage is overweight, there are four things that you may do:

  • Transfer some of the items to another luggage, checking in both of them afterward
  • Leave at the airport some of the items that you can do without
  • Have the items you have to leave behind shipped to your destination or home
  • Pay the excess baggage fees, which usually doesn’t come easy on the pocket

Regardless of the step that you wish to take, one thing remains true: it can wreak havoc on your mood and, in the case of the last couple of options, leave a hole in your pocket.

Excess baggage fees can range anywhere from $25 to $200! The amount you will have to pay for carrying a suitcase that’s heavier than allowed varies from one airline to the other.

Let’s take a quick look at the maximum weight of luggage that you can check in per airline:

Allegiant Air40 pounds
American Airlines 50 pounds
Delta Airlines50 pounds
Korean Air70 pounds
Lufthansa50 pounds
Philippine Airlines50 pounds
Singapore Airlines66 pounds
Spirit Airlines40 pounds
Turkish Air44 pounds
United Airlines50 pounds

If you think that it’s a completely different story when it comes to carry-ons, think again! If your carry-on is too heavy or too large for the liking of the airline, it will be treated as checked baggage! As every flyer knows, most of the time, checked luggage doesn’t come with a free price tag.

Worry not if you don’t want your carry-on bag to end up as checked baggage. You can get rid of some of its content to meet the weight limit. If the size of your carry-on is the issue, you can transfer the items to a smaller bag.

Before you head to the airport, make sure that you weigh your luggage first. This allows you to skip problems later on, which can cause you to pay excess baggage fees and even potentially miss your flight!

Nothing can ruin your getaway of a lifetime more than failing to board the airplane before it takes off.

You can weigh your luggage at home using a bathroom scale. If you don’t own one and buying is not an option, you may try the steps on this article on weighing your luggage without using a scale.

Just in case you forgot to weigh your luggage before you left your home and you fear that you are going to be flagged at the check-in counter for bringing with you something that weighs more than what the airline allows, keep on reading.

The following are 7 useful tips on how to get away with overweight luggage!

Tip #1: Shop for a Suitcase Out of Lightweight Materials

Before you start packing and potentially end up with an overweight suitcase, you should first choose the right luggage for the job. These days, you can choose from a dizzying assortment of brands, styles, and designs.

If dodging exorbitant excess baggage fees is more important for you than looking fashionable each time you step foot inside and outside the airport, chose a suitcase that is lightweight rather than stylish.

Using a lightweight suitcase allows you to stash a lot of things in it. On the other hand, a suitcase that is heavy can considerably limit the amount of stuff that you can place in it. When it comes to packing light, every single gram of your suitcase needs to be taken into consideration!

Luckily, finding the most lightweight suitcase available is easy. All you have to do is to try to lift one after the other while shopping. The one that’s the most effortless to lift should be your choice.

This is not a possibility when shopping for a suitcase on the internet. The good news is that you can simply take a quick look at the product specifications of each luggage, although this can be a time-consuming process.

To speed up the task of coming across the most lightweight in the market, focus on those that are out of polycarbonate.

What’s so nice about polycarbonate is that it is lightweight yet highly durable. This is why it is the one being used for manufacturing CDs, eyeglasses, and even bulletproof glass!

Recommended: Traveler’s Choice Tasmania 100% Pure Polycarbonate Expandable Spinner Luggage 3-Piece

Traveler’s Choice Tasmania Spinner Luggage

Tip #2: Head to the Check-In Counter as Early as You Possibly Can

We all know that the early bird gets the worm. Did you know that being early may also spare you from shouldering the steep costs that come with checking in overweight luggage?

So if you feel that your suitcase weighs more than what’s preferred by the airline, consider checking it in way ahead of the other passengers.

There are a lot of people who can attest to the fact that this works. Truth be told, no one really knows why an early check-in can increase one’s risk of being spared from paying excess baggage fees.

Some guess that airlines have a quota on how much extra weight they can carry. If you are one of the earliest passengers to fall in line at the check-in counter, it is very much likely for the airline representatives to simply let your overweight luggage slide quietly because they are still far away from their quota.

Some people think that being early works because the ones stationed at the check-in counters are not yet stressed and exhausted enough to ask the passengers to pay excess baggage fees even if their luggage weighs only 0.00005 kilograms more than what the airline permits.

And even if this tip fails to work, being early at the check-out counter can still work to your utmost benefit. That’s because it gives you plenty of time to take the necessary steps if your suitcase is overweight.

As a result of such, you’re not going to miss your flight, which is something that can cause added stress and inconvenience on your part.

Tip #3: Put Some Stuff on Your Body, Not in Your Luggage

Suitcases are weighed at check-in counters. On the other hand, passengers who own them are not weighed at check-in counters. Needless to say, you can weigh as much as you want and still be allowed to get on the plane.

It’s exactly for this reason why our next tip on how to get away with overweight luggage involves putting some of the contents of your suitcase on your body, thus allowing you to meet baggage weight limits.

Layering can work to your advantage if your suitcase weighs more than what the airline permits. The same is true with accessorizing — the weight of various fashion accessories with metal parts can easily add up!

Consider wearing a couple of t-shirts and a sweatshirt or two, and then finish it off with a jacket or coat. Feel free to wear more than a single belt, as well as adorning your body with several necklaces, bangles, and rings. Of course, you can’t do the same when it comes to footwear.

However, some types of shoes are heavier than the rest. For instance, if you have a pair of leather boots in your luggage and you are sporting a pair of sneakers, swap your footwear.

Once you are on the plane, remove your clothes and fashion accessories one by one and quietly stash them in your carry-on. Worry not that the flight attendant will call you out for doing this.

There is no law that says you cannot layer your clothes and remove some of them later on, unless you remove all of them — that’s indecent exposure!

Tip #4: Wear a Coat With a Lot of Pockets

Above, we suggested for you to complete your layered attire to get away from steep excess baggage fares with a coat.

Especially if it’s freezing cold in the place that you are about to visit, going for the largest coat that you have is a fantastic idea. That’s because it tends to have plenty of pockets, which can help you stay within the luggage weight limit.

Before heading to the check-in counter to have your suitcase weighed, transfer some of the items in it in the pockets of your coat. The heavier the things that you stash in your coat pocket, the better!

Just like what was mentioned earlier, no one will weigh you just to see if you are beyond the allowed passenger weight, which doesn’t really exist. Those guys at the check-in counter are only focused on your luggage.

Because of the jam-packed pockets of your coat, you may look like you have a weird body shape, you may walk funny, and your neck and upper back may feel achy. However, it’s something that can save you from shouldering steep excess baggage fees.

The moment that you are on the plane start emptying one coat pocket at a time and then transfer the contents to your carry-on. The flight attendant won’t question you about it because there is nothing illegal or risky about what you are doing.

However, it is a good idea to do the task of emptying your pockets discreetly to keep at bay judgmental stares from the airline staff and the other passengers.

Tip #5: Stash Your Heaviest Items in Your Carry-On

Other than wearing a coat with a lot of pockets and placing in them some of the things that make your luggage exceed the allowed weight by the airline, you may also turn to your carry-on.

Most airlines allow their passengers to bring with them one carry-on luggage at absolutely no cost. However, it should not go beyond the allowed weight or size. Like your baggage, the airline limits your carry-on’s weight or size.

Passengers should feel blessed that airlines allow them to take with them on planes a reasonable amount of items. It’s too bad that not all passengers are taking advantage of this opportunity.

Some of them are also paying exorbitant excess baggage fees, which they can avoid simply by transferring some of the contents of their luggage to their carry-on bags. It may take a little effort to do this, but their pockets will surely appreciate it.

You may think that you may not be able to fit a lot of heavy items in your carry-on bag. However, by also following some of the earlier suggestions such as layering your clothes and stuffing the pockets of your coat, you will be able to check-in luggage that does not exceed the weight limit imposed by airlines.

Just a word of caution: make sure that you do not go beyond the carry-on weight limit. Before you give this tip on how to get away with overweight luggage, make sure that you check with your airline beforehand the weight or size limit it is imposing in terms of carry-ons.

Just like with the luggage it pays to use the most lightweight backpack as carry-on.

Tip #6: Use the Right Carry-On and Put on Your Best Acting Skills

Sometimes, it can also help a lot to go for the right carry-on bag if you want to dodge paying for high excess baggage fees successfully. These days, you can choose from a wide variety of options. The best one for the job is a bag that is not rigid, as well as something that is out of lightweight yet durable material.

It’s for this reason exactly why using a backpack as your carry-on luggage is a fantastic idea. Unlike a suitcase, a backpack is made out of a soft material, which allows you to cram in it all kinds of stuff.

On the other hand, a suitcase that is made out of an inflexible material can keep you from stuffing it with a variety of things.

What’s more, the materials used for making suitcases tend to weigh more than the materials used for making backpacks. So if your airline limits carry-on luggage according to weight, you are less likely to pay excess carry-on luggage fees using a backpack.

Other than using a backpack as your carry-on bag, you should also act like what you have in your back is not heavy. Making it seem like you are carrying with you something that’s lightweight may cause the people at the check-in counter to skip weighing your backpack because it looks like you are not having a hard time carrying it.

Again, some airlines choose to limit the carry-ons based on their dimensions instead of weight.

If your airline is more concerned about the size of the carry-on luggage of their passengers, consider using a black backpack or something that comes in any dark color. Something with a dark color looks smaller than something with a light color.

Tip #7: Try to be Adorable and Show Off Your Best Puppy Face

Do you feel that there’s chemistry between you and the person at the check-in counter? If you do, then use it to your advantage if your luggage weighs more than allowed by the airline.

Give it your best shot — make the other person have the idea that you are interested in him or her when all that you are interested in is to avoid paying excess baggage fees.

But if you are a married person, make sure that you keep your ring finger out of view to keep yourself from being seen as an adulterer rather than an adorable person.

Worry not if your friends say that you are terrible at flirting. That’s because you can always try the friendly route. Put on a coy smile and say that you are sorry for having a suitcase that is a tiny fraction heavier than what’s allowed, or a couple of millimeters bigger than what’s permitted.

Arguing with the person at the check-in counter will only leave you stressed and fuming mad. On the other hand, being friendly can make your day and that of the other party brighter.

Who knows, you may win a friend who is working at the airport, and also get the opportunity to dodge paying excess baggage fees!

Lying to get compassion can work, too. Little untruths that could roll out of your mouth are practically endless — from being mugged at the subway to visiting a friend who has only 24 hours to live.

Just Before You Try Out Any or All of the Smart Tips Above

There are many things that you can do to get away with overweight luggage and also the stress and inconvenience that comes with it. Some of them may work better than the rest.

Even though the above-mentioned tips can save you from all the unwanted trouble, it’s a good idea for you to stay within the baggage allowance. You can get in touch with the airline to have an idea of how much your luggage should weigh. Just to be sure, also ask about carry-on restrictions.

Once you have the figures, weigh your luggage and take your carry-on bag’s dimensions. Make the necessary adjustments if you go beyond what’s allowed by the airline.

Happy packing and safe trip!

Image by Spencer Wing from Pixabay

Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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