Thailand Chronicles 14: How To Bypass The Excess Weight Charge At Airports

A secret beach between Ao Chalong and Hat Rawai in Phuket, Thailand. Taken on the 22nd of February 2007 with a Nikon D200 and a 18-200mm lens. Part of the Thailand Chronicles Series.

Had fun on your vacation?

Did you buy plenty of cheap stuff that you couldn’t find at that price in your home country?

Getting ready to go to the airport to head on home?

Then you get to the airport check-in counter and you get the bad news.

100$ USD in excess weight!

Dang it!

Will the goods still be as cheap, now that you paid the surcharge?

Maybe, maybe not, but here are some tips to avoid paying the surcharge.

When flying with international flights, the weight allowance is generally more than when you fly domestic flights. This seems pretty straight forward, but let’s just imagine that you are arriving at your destination and have to take a domestic flight later on in the week to get to another place (ie you land in Bangkok and head on to Phuket a few days later).

Watch out!

Domestic flights have less weight allowances that international flights!

So you will pay for each and every KG that you take with you.

One way to avoid this is to bring your kids. The weight gets distributed all around the same family, so if your wife had excess weight in her luggage, but your kids didn’t really have any luggage, you’re good.

But what happens if both of you have picked up a few things and that there aren’t any kids yet?

Well you can either pay up or do what I suggest.

First of all, take out all of your shoes. We had picked up some free hiking boots in Bangkok, which were heavy. Instead of packing them, we wore them and put all of our shoes in a carry-on bag.

Then, take out all of the things that will spike the weight of the bag, like let’s say your laptop. I checked my laptop last time, but this time, I am taking it with me on the flight. It takes out a few KG right there!

I have a backpack, not a huge one, but a sizable one, just a tad taller than what you normally see. I have seen plenty of people take larger backpacks with them on flights.

So I developped a stratagem in order to minimize our costs. We took out all of the heavier stuff out of our bags and put them in smaller bags. Instead of just having one carry-on bag, I now had 3; one was my normal one with my photographical equipment, one had my laptop and books in it and one was my backpack!

With the laptop and a few other things removed, like the tripod, the backpack only had clothes in it and didn’t weigh that much. Originally, it weighed 19KG, now it must weigh less than 10.

When it came time to check-in, I decided to only check-in my wife’s large suitcase. I was sure it was overweight already, but if the weight was split in two, it wouldn’t be a problem because no way in hell did her bag weigh 30kgs.

So then, I took another trolley with us to the counter. We were first in line and I kept the other trolley behind me. They told us that the bag was too heavy, but I told them that we only had 1 bag. Then they said, no problem, have a safe flight.

In the end, I took my backpack on board. It was a bit of a pain, but since it was very well engineered, it wasn’t so bad.

It fit quite nicely in the overhead bins.






One response to “Thailand Chronicles 14: How To Bypass The Excess Weight Charge At Airports”

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