What's The Diff?

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Billing for baggage – that suitcase could stand to lose a few pounds!

Paying the price for extra luggage. by whatsthediffblog, on Flickr

2 years ago, on my way to Vegas with my friends, I had my first issue with an "overweight suitcase." I’m not sure how I managed to pack more than 50lbs worth of stuff into my suitcase, but I did it – it was just over 52lbs.

In an effort to avoid charging me a fee for the weight of my luggage, the woman at a the Spirit check-in counter was nice enough to suggest I move a couple things (ended up being some shoes) to one of my friends’ suitcases and that ended the debacle.

The last trip (to Boston), I was slightly perturbed by the fact I had to pay to actually check my luggage (which followed all the size/weight rules). But I found solace in the fact that I saved myself $5 by paying for it online prior to my flight. Somehow, I felt I was getting a bargain.

Then, today, I found an article in the Wall Street Journal by Scott McCartney detailing all the pricey sins of overweight, oversized and extra baggage for a number of different airlines. In a graph detailing the price of checking 3 bags, United and US Airways both tip the scales at an extra $250 to check 3 bags, which could be the equivalent of the actual airline ticket to send yourself somewhere.

Don’t think you’ll ever check 3 bags? Hope you never want to hit the slopes or ride the waves:

Golfers and skiers will be hit hard by the new policies. Most airlines count a set of golf clubs or a pair of skis as one checked bag. Add a suitcase, and passengers on United and USAirways will have to pay the second-bag charge. Some extra items are exempt, such as duffle bags for military personnel and mobility devices such as scooters for disabled passengers. Many carriers automatically charge extra for scuba tanks. The rules, found on each airline’s Web site, can be arcane and confusing, even getting down to fees and requirements on checking antlers, kayaks and surf boards. American, for example, allows each passenger to check one javelin for a $160 round-trip fee; Delta does not allow javelins.

What’s next? Paying to use the shower in hotel rooms?

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  1. I feel the same way about hotels that charge for internet connectivity. May as well charge extra for water, electricity. Leaves a poor taste in your mouth.
    Nickel and diming.

    Posted by: jeremy | March 12, 2008

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Sunday, March 18, 2018