Luggage weight limits - how do you manage?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by zzyss, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. zzyss

    zzyss Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    Continuing on from a discussion that I started in another thread, how do you generally cope with the restrictions on luggage weight/number limits?

    It seems to be generally understood that in economy, you are allowed 20kg's checked in, and another 5-10kg of hand carry? Somebody who actually knows might want to provide more accurate details - I haven't the foggiest idea.

    Considering that the luggage itself might weigh anything from 2-5kgs, that leaves about 15kg. If you're travelling for business, or sightseeing, that might not be a problem, but what about shopping trips, etc.?

    My in-laws, who recently visited, are an older couple living in Europe, who tend to bring a wide range of paraphernalia with them, including the necessities for both hot and cold weather (a problem with crossing hemispheres), the usual bits and pieces that one aggregates with age (health and mobility type things) and, most importantly, gifts for me and my wife :) The thing that they struggle with the most is the number of pieces that are allowed. There's no way an older person is going to be able to lift a 20kg bag, and so they tend to split their luggage into many smaller, more manageable pieces.

    Obviously, this presents a problem when airlines limit the number of items, but also adds overhead in terms of the weight of the luggage, and reduces the amount of stuff that they can carry.

    Anyway, I'll stop rambling. What are your thoughts and experiences when it comes to travel luggage?
     
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  2. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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  3. MelUser

    MelUser Established Member

    Aug 6, 2007
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    Join Qantas Club - that gives you an extra 10 kg.

    Book Round the world flights (or flights via the US in both ways) which gives you (in economy) a 2 x 23kg checked luggage allowance.
     
  4. Natt

    Natt Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    I try and do the hand luggage thing wherever I can - its just so much easier

    I think the key is to learn how to layer, and only pick a small range of colours. And cull the shoes with a vengeance.

    I remember a 3 week trip to New Zealand where in addition to all the normal stuff we had to bring all the bushwalking gear as well (tent, mattresses, boots, sleeping bags, sticks, bushwalking garments etc) we weighed in at 20kilos and 16 kilos

    I hope to do Malaysia for 3 weeks with a 15 kilo & a 7 kilo for 2 people

    and i am a chunky lady so my clothes weigh quite a bit - so if I can manage it - anyone can :)
     
  5. Ari Gold

    Ari Gold Active Member

    Jan 16, 2007
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    SYD
    On trips to London?
     


  6. zzyss

    zzyss Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    I don't fly enough to justify the hefty fee. Might as well just pay for the extra weight.
     
  7. MelUser

    MelUser Established Member

    Aug 6, 2007
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    You'll find that QF charging you for 10kg of international excess baggage is probably more than 1 years of Q Club entry!

    Otherwise, a Swissair or Lufthansa economy fare to europe travelling both ways via the US is cheap - about $1600 + taxes and gives each pax 2 X 23kg of checked baggage.
     
  8. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Excess luggage Oz to/from Europe is charged at AU$48 per KG.

    From March the Y 20kg limit rises to 23Kg, but the additional collection also rises - to AU$50 per Kg.
     
  9. toowongman

    toowongman Member

    Aug 2, 2006
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    Melbourne, Australia
    My practice is to pack less and wash more.

    Ms. Toowongman weighs in at 39kg. Everytime she does SIN>BNE excess baggage is never a problem. If she's over her allowance, her argument is that she's at least 30 kg lighter than the average passenger, so the airline should let her overweight bag on for free. And to this day, they have (QF and SQ).

    So if you're lighter than average, there's an angle for you.
     
  10. Natt

    Natt Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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  11. Paul_PER

    Paul_PER Member

    Jan 11, 2008
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    Perth
    Natt's post was .... amusing.

    Personally I like the old rule - put everything you think you will need on your bed and take half. And double the money.

    Otherwise:
    - convince mum & dad to use a day backpack. Yes it doesn't look as good as their handbag / shoulder bag / cabin bag / briefcase but the convenience factor outscores the appearance factor
    - carry or wear your heavy coat onto the plane - it's not counted in weight allowances and can serve as a blanket for airlines / airports that think air con = refrigerator
    - there are numerous postings on this site about preferred luggage. I use cheap large wheeled duffle bags (replaced as soon as they start fraying). I don't pack anything too valuable. I try take only clothes which are not favourites & on long trips include some old stuff which can be thrown away if necessary.
    - there has been a post about shoes before - basically take one pair of enclosed shoes and maybe a fold up pair of slippers or thongs

    That's my two cents. :)
     
  12. strewthbut

    strewthbut Junior Member

    Dec 21, 2008
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    CCL
    X2

    The warmer the country the less to pack. :)
    My last visit to Malaysia was a month long hiking trip with 6 kg carry-on. Saved paying up for checked luggage on AirAsia internal flights.

    Back on subject; wheeled, paticularly 4-wheeled suitcases make the heavy bags a lot more manageable.

    Do they visit often? Can they leave the warm weather Aussie clothes with you for the next time they visit?

    More room for gifts then :D
     
  13. zzyss

    zzyss Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    Sydney
    True, but wheeled just means more weight. I guess it's a trade off between convenience and weight, eh? :) They actually come over fairly often (about every two years) but we live in a small, rented apartment, so don't have very much room to store their stuff in addition to our own massive piles of stuff! We wouldn't want to have to move it with us every time our contract finishes and we find another place.

    If only we lived in a perfect world...
     
  14. strewthbut

    strewthbut Junior Member

    Dec 21, 2008
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    CCL
    Ah, wouldnt it just....but would we still then find it perfect?

    But yea everythings got a trade. Though I do have a big hardshell Samsonite spinner I use for winter Europe trips that weighs in around the 3 kilo mark empty. 'Pends what one wants to pay I guess
     
  15. lovetravellingoz

    lovetravellingoz Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2006
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    For me the limits have never been a problem as I always travel underweight....even when travelling as a family of 5.

    Reason being is that too much weight, and/or bulk, I find to be a great hassle when travelling.

    I would rather not have the constant hassle of carting heavy bags around....or having it limit where I can go...and I often want to access quite remote places.


    One technique I have sometimes used to minimise weight is to take clothes that I can discard...or donate...

    ie When embarking half a dozen odd years ago on a 10 week backpacking trip around the Middle east and Thailand...and having initial climates which were going to be initially in the main coldish/mildish (it was winter in the Middle East and snowed in Jerusalem) but then very hot in Februray in Thailand we were faced with the need of initially needing warmish clothes (plus for Muslim areas needing to cover up)....and then ones fora very hot climate.

    So off to the Salvation army for some very cheap clothes to be used for the first part.

    These were left behind in Cairo with us buying cheap new clothes in Thailand on arrival.

    That particular trip as our 3 daughters were only 12, 9 and 6....our baggage was such that my wife and I could comfortably (though yes with a bit of effort) carry it all..including 5 lightweight sleeping bags.

    Another technique I have often used is simply to have very light bags.
    While many people travel with heavy fancy suitcases. Most of the time I have used very lighweight, largish soft duffle-type bags. The material is thin, but robust, and the bags only weigh a fraction of heavier cases. This means 1-3 kg less per bag to lug around...and if you are at your limit...1-3 kg of actual useful stuff (whatever that may be).

    These soft bags have also been a lot more "adaptable" to our various means of transport whether that be on the back of donkeys, squeezing into a small Cairo Cab or Asian Tuk Tuk, serving as a pillow/back-rest on the deck of a small inter-island ferry in Thailand, being packed into a yacht with limited storage space, etc etc.

    The other big plus of these types of bags is that when emptied that they take up virtually no space. This can be a HUGE plus for a family of 5 with some of the accommodaion options that we have used where space can be at a premium.
     
  16. lovetravellingoz

    lovetravellingoz Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2006
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    Well one solution to this that I have done many a time travelling is to have one large zip-up duffle bag.

    Into this I place several smaller soft bags. As they are soft they conform to the shape...though any gaps can be filled with a towell etc.

    Now I have done this because I often travel as a family of 5.....so each family member hasa small bag....with another bag being for various necessaties for that destination (ie wash bags, snorkelling,face-masks, medical kit whatever).

    That way when needed I only have the one or two big bags....but on arrival each person has their own bag making it easy to find what you need quickly...including the shared general stuff in it's own bag.

    Also when rquired...iea tny taxi with virtually no boot...the smaller bags can be split up for sitting of knees or putting into various nooks and crannies.

    In your relatives case (pun intended ;))they can have their seperate bags...but on getting their airport trolly they can put the smaller bags into the bigger bag...wheel it up to check-in and away they go.
     
  17. Evan

    Evan Established Member

    Dec 26, 2006
    3,168
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    SIN / MEL
    Duffel bags are great way to travel if you have checked bags. :)
    But i still love my hiking pack, because i can carry it on my back. Still i have never got over 20kgs even with largest bags unless i have some special extra luggage like audio gear (buying cheaper hi-fi speakers O/S).

    And not the limit is 23kg for QF.

    Being a Platinum and if not QP life member the extra 15kgs is only ever used if transporting good with me.

    Carry-on if for sure the way to go, but not all so practical to winter destinations, lucky i don't get cold, i also only usually take one jacket, if i really need another i could just buy one which has only ever happened once.

    E
     
  18. Commuter

    Commuter Active Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    793
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    If you cannot possibly go with less, fly BA (on BA metal). Excess baggage charge for AUS-LHR is £72 per max 23 kg bag or £97 per max 32 kg bag, if you pre-pay online. Dirt cheap as far as I'm concerned. You can take up to 10 checked-in baggage too.
     
  19. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    37,344
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    BNE, SYD and CNX
    In my experience full service carriers have never been strict in enforcing the baggage limit. I know that could change at any time but we have not had issues in the past. My mother has managed to get away with truckloads, OK not quite, on SQ. The travel agent generally advises that SQ will allow ~5kgs more than the 20kgs limit and we checked in 27-28kgs in SYD, and I copped an earful because she wanted to take more, and God knows how much she checked in coming back from SKG.

    I struggle trying to keep the weight of my luggage down below the limits. Forget carry on baggage only it does not work with me as I mainly pack for the duration of the trip and try to avoid wasting too much time doing laundry overseas.

    Does not matter where I go on holiday I take long sleeved casual/business shirts with me, I don't like t-shirts and mainly wear them for golf, usually 4-5 pairs of pants or jeans, no shorts ever, a pair of black leather everyday/going out shoes and a pair of sneakers, no thongs, flip flops or any open foowear and then medicines, personal items and before you know it I have way too much.

    Lucky for me I have been using Qantas/Oneworld and get away with a little extra thanks to my status. Who knows what will happen if I travel outside of Oneworld....
     

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