Figuring out what to pack for any trip can be a bit stressful. And once everything is finally squeezed into your suitcase, you still have to make sure it's within the airline's weight restrictions. Every airline sets its own requirements for luggage, so be sure to check the weight limits for your particular flight. Overweight luggage may result in a bag fee at the check-in desk, which is terrible way to start your getaway.
Save yourself some hassle by weighing your suitcase before you leave home, but if you forget, you can also do so at the airport. That way, you won't have to remove items or pay extra while at the check-in counter. Wether it’s a duffel bag or extra large suitcase, it is best to play it safe. Read below for tips on how to check the weight of your luggage or carry-on bag.
Weight Requirements for Checked Baggage
For most big airline companies, such as Delta, United and American Airlines, the weight requirement for checked baggage is the same. The bag must be under 50 pounds, and the bag's size cannot exceed 62 inches when the length, width and height are added together. Some airlines let passengers with premium tickets bring bags that weigh up to 70 pounds.
Budget airlines, like Spirit, don't allow checked bags that weigh more than 40 pounds, and they charge a steep price too. Many airlines, not just budget ones, charge for checked baggage and even more if the bag exceeds weight limits. To be sure, check the website of the airline for its specific weight requirements.
Weight Requirements for Carry-on Luggage
The weight requirements for carry-on luggage are much more varied than those for checked baggage, and airlines across the world have different rules when it comes to carry-ons. In many cases, it's not so much the weight of the bag but the size of it. The bag must fit in the overhead compartment, and each airline generally has a crate at the airport so passengers can see if their bag fits inside. Some airlines have weight restrictions on carry-on luggage in addition to the size requirements. For instance, Air France has a maximum weight of 26.4 pounds, while American Airlines and Delta allow 40 pounds.
How to Weigh Your Luggage
When weighing your luggage, keep in mind that no scale is entirely accurate, and ultimately, it's up to the discretion of the airline agents and the scale they use as to whether or not a bag is within the requirements. There are a few options for weighing your luggage:
Built In Scale
One way to make sure you'll never overpack your suitcase is by using a suitcase with the scale already built in. A few brands, such as Raden, offer this convenience, with the scale built right into the handle.
Handheld Luggage Scale
If you already have a suitcase at home that works just fine, there's no need to pay for an expensive upgrade. Just buy a digital luggage scale for about $10 to $20, which can be found at most chain stores like Walmart or Target, or even on websites like Amazon. Link the hook on the scale to the suitcase's handle, and lift the scale and bag together off the ground. Hold it steady, wait for the numbers to level out on the scale, and read the weight.
At Home Scale
This option imay not give the most accurate reading of your baggage weight, but it works if you're in a pinch for time. For the most accuracy, step on the scale and weigh yourself. Step off, then pick up the luggage and step back onto the scale. Subtract your weight without the suitcase from your weight with the suitcase. You won't get an exact number, but it will be close. Using a bathroom scale is a risky option when you know your luggage or reaching the breaking point, so if you are truly concerned, it may be best to opt for other options we have listed.
Many airports have scales for passengers to weigh their luggage before the check-in counter. If you get to the airport early enough, you can weigh your luggage beforehand and remove items that are making the bag overweight. Just remember if you choose this option, you are risking baggage fees or additional checked luggage if things don’t go well.
Things to Keep in Mind
While it's easy to max out a suitcase so that it's right at 50 pounds or whatever the requirement is, travelers should try their best not to let luggage get that heavy. It's difficult to carry that much weight, and it's difficult for baggage handlers to lift while also doing so with care.
Of course, certain circumstances might require people to pack their suitcases to full capacity, and in some cases, if the bag is a few pounds over, the airline agent might let it go through without an extra charge. But to save yourself and the airline agents the hassle, pack lightly whenever you can.
Many times, airlines may charge you extra for an overweight bag to be allowed on board. Sometimes, depending on the weight of your bag, they may ask you to remove items and move them to your carry on. Overweight baggage may even require a passenger to check an additional piece of luggage, resulting in an additional cost.