Over the summer, when airlines and airports were really struggling with managing customers’ baggage (I know, the understatement of the year), I wrote several posts on how to avoid the luggage apocalypse. RELATED: An Airline Executive’s Number One Tip for Avoiding Lost Luggage When You Fly
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Number one is to not check a bag. If you must and are traveling domestically, then consider shipping your bags using FedEx or UPS Ground. Just leave five business days for them to get there and make sure your hotel doesn’t charge a receiving fee. Otherwise, at the very least, pop a $29 Apple AirTag or Samsung SmartTag in your checked bag so you can track it. This was a timesaver for so many people over the summer and holidays and that still continues. I have many more tips, all of which you can read here and for those who want to save money, then check out this article: 12 Ways to Save Money on Baggage Fees
One of my money-saving tips is not to put everyone’s luggage on one reservation. For example, if you’re flying with a loved one and you’re each checking a bag, don’t check both bags under one name. I know it’s easier, but it will cost you more if you don’t have elite status or the airline’s rewards card.
For example, my wife, kids and I were flying from Honolulu to Los Angeles last March and the first checked bag was $30. The second bag was $40. So, we saved $10 by each checking a bag instead of putting them both on the same reservation.
Well, guess what? We’re back in Hawaii and I learned another tip, which saved me over 40% on baggage fees. In the process, I also realized I’d made a stupid mistake.
We were flying from Maui (OGG) to Honolulu (HNL) on Hawaiian Airlines (HA). I took my own advice and did some advance research to see how much they charge for checked bags. That’s when I realized that just by signing up to Hawaiian Airlines’ frequent flier program, travelers can save a significant amount of money each time they check a bag. To sign up takes all of two minutes.
According to HawaiianAirlines.com, for inter-island flights, they charge $25 for the first checked bag. But if you’re a HawaiianMiles member, it’s just $15. A second checked bag will set customers back $35 but for HawaiianMiles members, it’s just $20.
Normally, I input a partner frequent flier number when I fly Hawaiian to earn miles on an airline I fly often but since the interisland flights are so short, it doesn’t make sense to do that when you’re checking a bag.
Now for my stupid mistake … At the airport, I realized I hadn’t signed my wife or kids up to HawaiianMiles. If I had, I would have saved another $5 because we were checking two bags (not including our car seats, which are free) and instead of putting two bags under my name, I could have split them up.
–8 Ways To Make Sure An Airline Doesn’t Lose Your Bag … And That You Don’t Get Robbed or Stalked
–The Trick For Getting Airport Luggage Carts for Free
–Airline Lost Your Luggage? Do This If You Want to Get Compensated
–Why Frequent Fliers Use Apple AirTags or Samsung SmartTags When They Travel
–An Airline Executive’s Number One Tip for Avoiding Lost Luggage When You Fly
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I fly Southwest between the islands, lots of frequency, cheap fares, and two bags checked free!