I've recently returned from three weeks of R&R, travelling through some of the United States on a family holiday. Despite asking specific questions of my travel agent, I was hit with luggage fees during one leg of the journey. This was an expected slug of US$100 (about $140 once you take into account the exchange rate and credit card fees).
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When we mentioned last week that you should screenshot your boarding pass and other important travel documents, several readers chimed in with tips on real-world things to photograph as well.
I've travel quite a lot and have noticed that as airlines have started charging extra fees for checked luggage that some people now use carry-on bags that are quite large and heavy. In response, some airlines have started imposing stricter baggage limits for carry on and they are now getting tougher on enforcement.
Dear Lifehacker, I recently took a short domestic flight across the country and when I landed at my destination I waited about 40 minutes for my bag to come through the claim area. When I finally got it, I took it home before I noticed a huge crack near the wheel that I hadn't seen before. What a joke. Will I be able to get reimbursed in some way?
Unless I absolutely have to (read: I'm flying with booze), I always do whatever I can to not have to check a bag when I travel. Besides the fees associated with handing your bag over, the worst part of the whole experience, in my opinion, is having to wait after a long flight for your suitcase to come around the carousel. That wait is typically full of regret for me about buying that bottle of whiskey in the first place and delaying my trip home by 20 minutes.
Catching a connecting flight means running for your life (or at least your gate) in most cases, dodging and weaving through slow-moving families and golf carts stuffed with luggage. But if you find your own suitcase flailing and flipping about behind you while you jog through the terminal, slowing down to let it stabilise is the wrong answer. You might want to consider moving just a little bit faster.
Travelling light is the way to go if you want to skip baggage fees. Plus, it's just easier to get around when you're carrying less junk. With that in mind, what are some travel items you always bring but never need?
If you can pack everything you need for a long trip in carry-on luggage, go for it, but if you're flying abroad, keep in mind that carry-on size restrictions are often more frequently enforced on international carriers. Budget airlines in Europe are especially known for this, says Rick Steves.
You likely don't pay any attention to the wheels on your rolling luggage, but they're probably the first things to break down from the wear and tear of constant travel. Whether you have new or old rolling luggage, you'll make your luggage-hauling life a bit easier by simply switching to wheels that can stand a beating.
If you have to check baggage when travelling, you want to make sure everything inside is protected, and that includes doing what you can to make sure it gets treated well by baggage handlers. Here's what a baggage handler recommends you shop for in luggage to make sure it doesn't get banged around too much.