I'm moving to London and will be checking 2-3 large suitcases when I fly British Airways. Any tips or hacks on how to reduce or avoid these exorbitant baggage fees?
Always cheaper to pre-pay for them online. Other than that I don't know how to avoid them. Good luck!
Well you have made a start by travelling British Airways who give you at least one free checked bag (20kg) one carry on and a laptop/handbag, unfortunately you will have to ante up for the other suitcases, paying in advance will be cheaper. The other good news is you will be arriving at Terminal 5, BA's dedicated terminal which is fast and efficient.
1. Ship Your Baggage Before Your Trip 2. Push the “Carry-On” Rules to the Max 3. Check Bags Plane-Side 4. Carry Less, So You Don’t Have to Check Anything In 5. Check Fees and Size & Weight Details Before You Buy (Or Fly Airlines that Don’t Charge Annoying Fees) 6. Check the Carry-On Rules – Only Bring Cabin-Friendly Items 7. Use a Frequent Flyer Credit Card 8. Bundle Up! – Wearing Your Luggage
If your airline wants to charge you an over-weight baggage fee for a just-slightly-overweight bag, there’s no need to panic. Just start layering up! The airline can’t charge you extra if you take that extra weight worth of clothing, boots or whatever it is, and wear it on to the plane instead of checking it in with your luggage.
Swap your sandals for ski boots (or other heavy items) to get through security and past the airline gate agents. You can take off your ski boots and multiple winter jackets once you actually get on the plane. Don’t worry, you’ll face just a few minutes of discomfort and save big on those pesky baggage fees. Hope this information helps you. Enjoy your journey!
Consider opening a credit card with the airline if you haven't already to get at least the first bag checked free. Check out what the current point offers though to maximize the benefit.
If you won't need all those items as soon as you land in London, I'd look at a freight forwarder to ship extra baggage and do the pros and cons of price versus convenience. When I moved back to Australia from the UK, I took what I was entitled to on the flight and the rest was shipped. It took a fair while (but this was a long time ago) but opening the crates when they arrived was almost like Christmas morning! If you do want to take the luggage with you, then absolutely pre-pay for the extra bags. Be careful about the weight limits though because if they're over that, there'll be additional charges.
When my wife & I fly to Europe, we pack the heaviest items in each of our carry-one. The airlines do not seem to monitor the carry ons as closely as the checked luggage for size & weight.
Have you thought of sending the items by freight instead? Find the least expensive shipping and send one large box (or break it down into smaller parcels. Just an idea...
Some airline affiliated credit cards also give you a free bag when you travel. Check out BA's offerings and see if you are eligible.
have you looked into mailing your extra luggage? When I moved from London to Germany I mailed 2 giant moving boxes for about 50 pounds, that was much cheaper than the extra luggage
If you are traveling with someone else, combine all your stuff together into 2 large suitcases then bring anything additional in your carry-on