Excess Baggage? No Problem?

I remember travelling when you could have 2 huge 30kg suitcases plus your carry on bag, times when you packed everything you could think of as not to forget anything that might come in handy during the trip. Times have changed, and I don’t think that I’m the only one that hates the new travelling world that we live in. I find it frustrating and funny (laugh, worrying wont change anything) that airlines have on their sites that they accept oversize sporting equipment and you can book online to pay a flat rate of 50-70eur. However when you do get on the site you will discover that there is either an error in the system or the flight that your on doesn’t allow for excess baggage bookings to be made online. Hmm, ok no problem ill just go to the travel agent “TA” and they can sort it all out.

I arrive at my TA’s office and she seems to be very happy to try and help me, her enthusiasm is contagious, I soon find that my worry’s are floating away and im almost sure that everything will be ok.

TA: Hello Stan, great to see you again. I guess its that time of year again.

Me: Hello, yep I already have my flight booked but I couldn’t get an excess baggage booking through online, can you help

TA: Sure, can I have your flight details?

I hand over all my papers and she enters the details into her computer, a moment of pause.

Beeeeeeeeep! we both hear that annoying low pitched prolonged sound that takes you back to when you were using your first PC and you entered the wrong code.

TA: Hmm that’s strange hold on ill try again

at this point I’m thinking to myself well unless she entered something wrong we are about to hear that sound again.

sure enough Beeeeeeeeep!

TA: one moment ill get my manager and he can try on his computer.

unless his computer which looks just like yours has special powers we are about to hear that beep again.

2 mins later Beeeeeeeeep!

Manager: that’s interesting. let me try again.

Me: no need, seeing that you didn’t get it done and the TA tried twice can you just call the airlines and make the booking by phone?

Manager: Sure

manager jumps on the phone and calls the airline explaining the situation to them, once he has finished explaining you have the usual, ahh, o really, when did that happen, ahh, ok I understand, yep ok by.

Manager: ok apparently the airline doesn’t want to accept oversize baggage bookings as they don’t know what aircraft will be used for the flight.

Me: umm, how do I put this.. sure they do, see its written on my Itinerary, it will be a Boeing 747.

Manager: well yes but they still don’t know what aircraft will be used.

at this stage I’m thinking that maybe I’m missing something and looking at things all wrong, comments like “they are going to use a plane that flies and the model will be a Boeing 747” swirl through my mind but I hold back as he is trying to help.

Me: ok well can you try again in the afternoon and tomorrow morning and if you get lucky can you call me.

Manager: sure thing ill try after lunch and first thing in the morning. see you soon.

seeing that I couldn’t book over the net, the TA had no luck and calling the airline didn’t work I prepare myself for what I know will be an wallet emptying experience. the next day the Manager calls confirming what I had already though, saying he had no luck in getting the baggage on as oversize sporting equipment.

I arrive at the airport and try the usual, explaining my TA made sure that I had the allocation for sports luggage etc….. They don’t buy it for a second, the ticketing lady just prints out a slip of paper with a code on it and I’m instructed to take it to the cashiers window in the far corner.

I walk over with the little slip of paper and the cashier prints out the receipt and hands it to me saying.

that will be a total of 150eur”

Me: say what!!!

well sir your 15kg over the allowed limit that’s 10eur per kg.

At this point anyone standing at the airport by them selves almost 150km from home kind of sucks it up and has no choice but to pay, before doing so jump out of the line grab a seat and take a deep breath.

open your luggage, find the jacket that has the largest or the most amount of pockets, find every little thing that has a bit of weight to it and cram into those pockets. you’ll find that sometimes you can shave anywhere up to 5kgs from the baggage weight. personal record was 8kgs stuffed in my pockets which included me walking around the Munich airport with 2 reserves in either side pocket, must have looked kinda funny. one thing to remember they only weigh your bags not your clothing. you may look like a complete goof going through the gate in 30 degree heat with a jacket, but at the end of the day you pocket 50eur.

2 comments on “Excess Baggage? No Problem?

  1. I’ve been to Canada and Peru with my gear (large airbag harness, none of the funky light stuff) and never had any problem. They only weighed the luggage, there was no problem with oversize dimensions. So, 18 kgs gear plus some clothing to fill 22kg limit went into paraglider, plus one bag of “handy” luggage (11kgs, again oversized) and off we go. With pockets stuffed by heavy stuff (camera, gpses etc) as described above, everything went smooth and within standard ticket price.

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