Fly Right: Lighten Your Load to Reduce Bag Fees
Want to head out of town for some place far away, but airline bag fees got you down? Travelers can reduce that extra cost, which can add $200 or more to your trip, by choosing the right suitcase and packing it right, according to luggage expert Jim Lahren, vice president of marketing for travelware company Briggs & Riley.
To fly lighter and cheaper, Lahren offers these tips to lighten your load, because sometimes it is true, less is more.
- Pounds matter. The most important thing to remember is the weight restriction of 50 lbs, so buy lightweight bags that pack well. As a general rule, stick to luggage that measures 27” or 28″ or under, because pack larger bags hold more and weigh more.
- Weigh your bags before you leave home. A bathroom scale works great. Try to stay about three pounds under the maximum weight because of the variability of scales.
- Consolidate when traveling together. A couple or family can get away with one large duffle or two wheeled upright bags.
- Choose the right luggage. Soft luggage is lighter yet equally durable as hard-sided luggage, and it will generally have more space for packing.
- Carry it on. Have each member of your traveling party, even kids, bring aboard a carry-on piece to lighten the load in your checked baggage.
For an individual or a family who flies frequently, Lahren recommends a durable luggage set that would include two 24″ expandable uprights and a wheeled compact tote or 18” carry-on expandable upright. In their Baseline collection, Briggs & Riley offers a 24″ One Touch Expandable Upright ($459) and an 18” Wheeled Compact Tote ($299) that make a perfect pair.
For vacation or adventure travelers, Lahren recommends a large wheeled duffle with quick-access side pockets, which are great for all your accessories, snacks for the kids, and other essentials you might need with you. BRX, the newest line from Briggs & Riley, features the 28” Expedition Duffle ($300), which has a ginormous main compartment for the bulkiest of gear and side storage panels that fold down and collapse for efficient storage.
A bonus with Briggs & Riley luggage is their lifetime guarantee that if it gets damaged, even by the airlines, they will fix it for free. Find stores or order online at www.briggs-riley.com.