How to Avoid Baggage Fees

Most airlines have now introduced baggage fees of some sort, increasing their profits, and making your flight ticket more expensive.  Here’s a couple of ways to avoid airline baggage fees:

  1. Use your airline miles.  If you have collected a lot of miles or achieved elite status with one or more airlines, this offers benefits to members, sometimes including free baggage.
  2. Use a credit card that offers incentives, like a “first bag free” benefit.  The Continental OnePass MasterCard and the Delta  SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express are two cards that offer such benefits.  And using the card to save the baggage fees can offset the cost to obtaining the card.
  3. When searching for a flight, compare not only ticket rates but also the baggage fees, which are usually not quoted within the rate.  The baggage fee can sometimes make the total cost of one carrier more than another.  JetBlue offers one free checked bag.  Southwest Airlines offers two.
  4. Upgrade your ticket.  If you have the miles or the money to upgrade to a Business Class ticket, the cost of your baggage will often be waived.