Unless you are lucky enough to be travelling on a Business or First Class ticket, weight restrictions and baggage fees are an everyday part of corporate travel. Most travellers can relate to the hassle and stress of having to unpack and repack luggage at the check indesk in order to make it fit, or finding themselves stung with unexpected ‘excess baggage’ fees.
The following five tips may help you avoid some of these charges and ensure a smoother, more relaxed flight!
1) Pack Smart
The first thing you can do is try to make the most efficient use of the space you have in your bag. There are a couple of ways you can ‘pack smart’ in order to get more in your luggage:
Choose lightweight clothes that easily fold down into a small space. If travelling in the winter, consider packing a number of different layers of clothing, rather than bulky jumpers or fleeces.
‘Sit and Zip’. This simple and effective space-saving technique involves folding a shirt, skirt or pair of trousers and then rolling it into a tube. You then place the rolled clothing into a large zip-close freezer bag. Next, put the bag on a chair and sit on it for a while, perhaps reading up on your travel destination! Once all the air has been extracted from the bag, zip it up and pack it in your luggage. This saves a lot of space and comes as close to ‘shrink wrapping’ your clothes as it is possible to do without specialist equipment.
2) Bundle Up and Carry The Heavy Stuff
Wear your bulkiest items of clothing onto the plane rather than packing them in your case. This may mean boarding your flight in your heaviest overcoat and a chunky pair of shoes, but it will save a lot of space and avoid pesky baggage fees. Load up all available pockets with your heaviest personal items, including tablets, chargers, electric razors and so on – as much as will fit on your person….(nothing sharp though!!!)These personal items have a hefty combined weight and often take up a lot of space when trying to squeeze them into a bag.
3) Weigh-in Before You Arrive
Know exactly how much weight you will be carrying onto your flight before you reach the airport, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. You can pick up luggage suspension weighing scales quite cheaply on eBay or Amazon, so you can weigh in at home.
4) Optimise Your Luggage
Get yourself off to the best start by choosing lightweight, spacious luggage for your business trips. Avoid heavy materials such as leather, or bags with expensive looking tags and metal accessories. These may look great but they take up valuable weight. Good quality luggage is not always the cheapest, but it is a worthwhile investment as you will quickly make savings on all the excess weight charges you manage to avoid.
5) Know What to Expect
Go into each business trip with open eyes and know what to expect. Every airline imposes broadly similar weight and item restrictions but there are some variations between each carrier. Take a few minutes to read up on what items are allowed and what your specific weight restrictions are, so you can pack efficiently and avoid unnecessary stress at the airport. Some airlines even impose weight restrictions on hand luggage.
While it is not normally possible to circumvent baggage restrictions, a little bit of prior planning goes a long way to helping you avoid delays and additional costs. For professional advice on all your corporate travel needs, call our UNIGLOBE Total Travel team on 020 8736 0700