How to Avoid AirTran Luggage Fees


No one is happy with the luggage fee policies that have been brought on by many of the major airlines. Consumers are not content at having to pay extra just to have clothes to wear during their trip to Florida or Europe. The airlines aren't satisfied that they had to start charging these fees to contend with the increased costs in fuel that have led to cutbacks in the airline itself.

AirTran, an airline that has always charged low prices for its fares compared to its competitors, has jumped on the bandwagon of charging fees for certain luggage. As a customer this means extra costs for you, unless you can find ways to avoid them.

  • Check only one piece of luggage. As of 2008, AirTran is still allows one free piece of luggage at no charge. It has to weigh under 50 lbs. and have overall dimensions of 62 inches or less.

  • Check in for your flight online if you have to check a second piece of luggage. If you check in online, you will only pay $10 for that second piece of luggage instead of the $20 that you will pay at the airport.

  • Make use of a friend's extra checked bag space. If you are traveling with at least one other person, do some creative packing. If your boyfriend's bag is half empty and only weighs 20 lbs., put your extra three pairs of shoes and five shirts in with his stuff. This way, nobody has to pay any extra fees.

  • Weigh your luggage at home before you leave for the airport. This can help you avoid having that piece of checked baggage weigh 55 lbs. instead of 50 lbs., which forces you to either rearrange your suitcases at the airport, or to pay a fee of $29. It isn't hard to weigh your luggage. You can put the suitcase upright on a small bathroom scale and get a good idea of the weight. There is no need to buy some complex scale to weigh your suitcases.

  • Make use of your carry-on luggage. If you used to just have a purse and camera as your one carry on and personal item, think again. You have to utilize every ounce of space you have available in the carry-ons. A personal item is a hangbag or backpack. You would be amazed how much you can fit into a nice size purse, especially with some good organizational skills. The carry-on luggage itself cannot be over 55 inches in total dimension. There really is no weight limit, but if you have something heavy it is supposed to be placed under your seat. A good piece of carry-on luggage packed well won't be too heavy, and you can stow it above your head in the overhead bin.

  • Make a list of what you absolutely need for the trip and stick to it. Don't take extra things you won't use. Talk to the other people in your group. If there are five people, you can get away with three umbrellas instead of five. One person can take sunblock instead of everyone having his or her own. Just use the hotel towels for swimming and the beach.

  • Pack wisely. Learn the secrets of packing. Roll your clothes up so that you can fit more, and forget about taking hangers. The hotel should provide hangers, or you can ask for them. Utilize all of your space in your luggage. For example, you can place socks and underwear inside of your sneakers to save space.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you took a trip to the beach last year and didn't use half of what you packed, recall what you actually did need. When you pack for the trip this year, keep in mind what you needed and only pack those items.
  • If you end up not taking something you needed, you can always buy it when you get there if you have to.
  • If you can't fit everything you think you will need, plan to purchase less expensive items when you get there. For example, you should take your sneakers that would cost $50 to buy once you arrive, but forget about the shampoo and conditioner that could be purchased for about $5 once you arrive.
  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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