As far as Travel Tips go, this one will most likely be fairly obvious, but its all how you play the game. If you want to save a bit of money on your second bag, I’ve got a method that has worked on a few flights, most recently Qatar airways from London to Islamabad.
I like to travel on a budget, but I also had a tonne of kit I wanted to travel with to give to people in Pakisan while I traveled. As I was on a budget, I only paid for one bag, an 80L inner-frame bag which I new would fit the right weight requirements. I soon realized with all the extra kit I had, I’d filled up my 60L bag also, which, if paid for, would put me over my budget. Being the cheap, and thrifty traveler that I am, I devised a plan for bringing both bags while adding to my repertoire of travel tips and tricks.
I first took everything I wanted to bring on the flight and placed it in a third 60L inner frame bag I had. I then put all my travel documents into a smaller camelbak bag I’d purchased on the cheap from Costco. I put everything onto the cart and took it into the terminal.
I then approached someone sitting down and left the 60L innerframe with them saying I’d be right back.
I walked up to the counter and told them I’d like to check in my one checked bag, and would kindly request if I could check in my carry on bag also. EVERY time I’ve made this request and utilized this travel tip, it has worked, and sure enough this time was no different. The people checked the weight of my carry on and proceeded to ask me what I was bringing on the flight to be sure that was it. My bag ended up being too heavy so they asked me to remove some items, which I did and placed in a plastic bag I’d brought with me (I told them I’d just throw the clothing away instead of paying the charge). They checked in both bags, and I asked for a ‘fragile’ sticker to put on my camelbak so it wouldn’t’ get banged up while on the flight.
They then told me (as expected), my 80L bag would need to be checked in at the oversize baggage counter.
At this point they had taken the 60L bag, given me a fragile sticker, made sure my 80L bag was good weight, and allowed me to keep the clothing I’d taken out.
I grabbed my ticket and wheeled my bags off, heading in the direction of the seats where I’d left the other bag.
When I got to the seats, I put the clothing back into the 80L bag, and placed the fragile sticker on the 60L bag I’d left there.
I walked over to the oversize counter, dropped off my bag which was now overweight (but had already passed weight check), and put the Costco purchased bag on my back to bring onto the flight as a carry on.
Though this entire method seems so obvious, this travel tip is invaluable to folks on a budget and especially those who know they are going to be over weight but bring an oversize bag. Though some may see it as incredibly cheap and a way to game the system, I think part of the fun of travel is figuring out ways of maximizing what you pay for that ticket, and the more you maximize, the more value you get form every penny.