Looking to Book a Flight Soon?

by Michelle Acker on August 10, 2011

in Learning the Art of Living

Do your research!   Did you know that some days of the week are cheaper to fly than others?  Did you also know that what day you BUY your ticket matters too? Prices change based on the day and time you’re doing the buying.  I’ve heard after midnight Wed. and before 6am Thursdays is cheapest.  You’ve probably known for awhile now about the airlines charging you to check luggage. (Well, except for Southwest, that is.)  But do you know the details of it?  Did you know that many of the fees recently changed again?

I’m booking a flight for a trip to the Relevant Conference in October.  Unfortunately, Southwest doesn’t fly to my destination.  So I did a little research this morning about which airlines fly from my home airport to where the conference is being held. I started taking some notes.  Before long it was obvious “notes” weren’t going to cut it.  I started compiling the info into a list, so that I wouldn’t keep having to go back to the websites over and over looking for this stuff all over again.  Did you know that the “fees” for an oversized or overweight bag can add up to the hundreds of dollars?  Imagine having a suitcase just one inch too big. Or one pound over the limit costing you $200?  It definitely pays to know the rules before you go!  Since all of this made me start to twitch, I though it might be kind to share what I found today.  So… Here you go.  You’re welcome!   🙂

Note: These are only the airlines that fly to Harrisburg International.  Please do your own research to confirm the details I have here, or to check on another airline’s policies.  I am in no way an expert, and I do make mistakes, and these were just my notes.  Check with the airline yourself to find out what their rules and fees are before you fly.


Baggage Allowance Summary

  • 1st checked bag: weight: 50 lbs. or less; dimensions: 61 inches or smaller $20
  • 2nd checked bag: weight: 50 lbs. or less; dimensions: 61 inches or smaller $25
  • Excess baggage (each piece after the first two bags) $50
  • Overweight baggage
  • 51-70 pounds $49     71-100 pounds $79
  • Oversized baggage (length + width + height)
  • 62 to 70 inches $49
  • 71 to 80 inches $79



  • $25 for the first checked piece.
  • $35 for the second checked piece.
  • $150 per bag for the 3rd and any additional checked bags (Bags up to 62 in./157 cm and/or up to 50 lbs./23kg)
  • Overweight & Oversize
  • Bag weights over 50 lbs. up to 70 lbs. are $100 each
  • Bag weights over 70 lbs. up to 100 lbs. are $200 each
  • Bags measuring between 63 – 126 in/160 – 320 cm – are $200 each
  • If your baggage is overweight and oversize, the applicable overweight charge plus $200 per bag will apply.
  • All charges are based on one way travel. All American Airlines and other airline charges are paid at the Airport Ticket Counter upon departure.
  • All size measurements are dimensional (length+width+height)

Please note that one carry-on bag plus one personal item does not count toward the checked bag guidelines. The one carry-on bag must fit in an overhead compartment or under the seat. It should not exceed 45 dimensional inches (length + width + height).

Personal item – includes: purse, briefcase, laptop bag OR a similar item such as a tote that does not exceed 36 inches( length+width+height) and must fit under the seat in front of you.

Additional items that will be allowed above and beyond the restrictions listed above include:

  • Outerwear such as coats/wraps/hats
  • Book or newspaper
  • Small bag of food to eat on the flight – see guidelines for liquids
  • Approved safety seat for lap or ticketed child
  • Pillow or blanket
  • Umbrella stroller for lap or ticketed child
  • Diaper bag for lap or ticketed child
  • Assistive devices for passengers such as wheelchairs, walkers and CPAP machines
  • Therapeutic oxygen provided by the airline



  • $25 for the 1st bag,
  • $35 for the 2nd bag.
  • in general, Continental Airlines will accept up to two pieces of checked baggage with a maximum weight of 50 pounds (23 kg) per bag and a maximum outside dimension of 62 inches (157 cm) per bag in exchange for the applicable service fees. Outside dimension of a bag is equal to the width + height + depth of the bag added together.

Honestly, their website is the worst to understand.

There are links below to all of the jibberish. This website in particular made me twitch. It goes as far as to explain how your bag travels on conveyor belts to the plane. The writer must have been paid by the word, that’s all I can say…. Or maybe they’re trying to hide facts like this: Customers who travel in Economy Class with checked baggage over 50 lbs (23 kg) and not exceeding 70 lbs (32 kg) will be charged at the rate of up to $200 per piece depending on the destination. Baggage weighing from 71 lbs (32kg) to 99.9 lbs.(45 kg) will be charged at a rate up to $400 per piece, depending on the destination. These charges are in addition to any charge assessed for additional or oversized baggage. Baggage weighing 100 lbs (45 kg) or more will not be accepted as checked baggage.

Make sure you check it out for yourself, to make sure you cover all the bases before you go…





Within the U.S. 50 lbs or less, 62 inches (L+H+W) or less:

  • First checked bag: $25
  • Second checked bag: $35
  • Bag 3: $125
  • Bags 4-10: $200 each
  • $90  for bags weighing 51-70 lbs.
  • $175 for bags weighing 71-100 lbs.
  • Bags exceeding 100 lbs. are not allowed.
  • When oversized bags do not fit in the overhead bins, delays occur. Fees will be applied to the oversized bag if it has to be checked at the gate. To avoid delays as well as fees, follow these size requirements:
  • Baggage may not exceed 45 linear inches (or 115 cm) in combined length, width, and height.
  • Baggage must fit easily in the Carry-on Baggage Check, which is located near the check-in counters and at the gate and is approximately 22″ x 14″ x 9″ (or 56 x 36 x 23 cm).

You may carry on one bag and one personal item at no charge. Please note that all items must easily fit into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

  • 1 purse, briefcase, camera bag, or diaper bag;
  • or 1 laptop computer (computers cannot be checked and must be carried on);
  • or 1 item of a similar or smaller size to those listed above.

You may also carry on the following items, which do not count as personal items:

  • A jacket or umbrella.
  • Food or drink purchased after clearing the security checkpoint.
  • Duty free merchandise.
  • Special items like strollers, child restraint seats, or assistive devices such as wheelchairs or crutches.

Want to check in for your flight and pay for your bags before you arrive at the airport? Within 24 hours of your departure, you can tell us how many bags you will check and pay any fees quickly and easily online. When you arrive at the airport, you can drop off your checked baggage at the nearest baggage drop, marked with red “Baggage Drop” signage, or curbside check-in station (available within 6 hours of departure time). You may also check your bags at the airport kiosk, ticket counter, or curbside; however, please note that higher checked baggage fees will apply if paid at the airport.

Checked baggage must weigh 50 lbs, (23 kg), or less and its combined length, width, and height must measure 62 inches (158 linear cm) or less. If your bag exceeds these weight or size limits, please review the Additional, Overweight, and Oversized Baggage section. You may also carry on one bag and one small personal item at no charge. Visit our Carry-on Baggage section for more information. More restrictive baggage rules apply on some flights operated by our Codeshare partners. Please refer to our Codeshare Partners page for information on a specific carrier’s baggage policy.



Save time when you prepay through online check-in.  For customers who are not exempt, first and second bag fees (each way) are as follows:

  • 1st bag: $25
  • 2nd bag: $35
  • If an item fits the criteria for more than one of the fees below, then multiple fees may apply.
  • Oversized bags – more than 62 linear inches* (157 linear cm) $100
  • Overweight bags – weighing 51 to 70 lbs. (23 to 32 kg $100
  • Overweight bags – weighing 71 to 99.9 lbs. (32.2 to 45.4 kg) $200

Any checked bag with a single dimension more than 62 inches (157 cm) will not be accepted. Any checked bag that is more than 115 linear inches (292 linear cm) will not be accepted. Oversized baggage charges are applied in addition to any charges that may be assessed for overweight and/or excess baggage. Fees for oversized baggage must be paid at the airport check-in counter and may not be paid online.

For worldwide travel on any United flight, you may carry on one bag and one personal item such as a briefcase, garment bag, laptop computer, purse or small backpack. Your carry-on bag…

  • must fit under your seat or in the overhead bin;
  • must not be more than 9 x 14 x 22 inches (23 x 35 x 56 cm) or 45 linear inches* (114 linear cm); and
  • may be required to travel as checked baggage if the bag cannot be safely stowed on your flight.

The following personal items are not counted toward your one bag and one personal item limit:

  • Assistive devices (canes, crutches, etc.)
  • Child safety seats for ticketed children
  • Infant restraint devices (infant seat with or without stroller, front pouch or back carrier)
  • Outer garments (coats, hats, etc.)
  • Reading material (a reasonable amount)
  • Umbrellas (one per passenger)
  • Food and beverages to be consumed onboard


  • Pay for your 1st and 2nd checked bags when you check in online or at the airport. All bag fees are non-refundable, per person and each way.
  • Maximum weight is 50lbs per bag, and you can check up to NINE bags.
  • 1st bag $25
  • 2nd bag $35
  • 3rd bag $125
  • 4th + (per bag) $200

Note: Can you imagine checking NINE BAGS? That would cost $1,385 EACH WAY!! That’s insane.  Of course, proofreading this for the 10th time, I just caught the fact that Delta allows 10 bags.  That would cost even more.  Would anyone actually do that?

Oversize checked bags

  • + $175 each 
Dimensions between 62 – 80 in/157 – 203 cm

Overweight checked bags

  • $90 each 
For bags that weigh 51-70 lbs/23-32 kg in Coach
(no overweight charge if you’re booked in First Class for first 2 bags)

+ $175 each 
For bags that weigh 71-100 lbs/33-45 kg
  • You’re allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item. Personal items include a purse, briefcase or laptop bag.
  • Up to 45 in/115 cm (14 x 9 x 22 in or 36 x 23 x 56 cm)
  • Up to 40 lbs/18 kg

Carry-on rules for US Airways Express

Not sure if you’re on a US Airways Express flight? Please check your confirmation. If you’re on a flight operated by Air Wisconsin, Colgan, Piedmont, PSA or Trans States, you’re allowed to carry on 2 items.

  • 1 personal item (such as a purse or laptop) in the cabin and;
  • 1 small carry-on bag. Your carry-on bag will be tagged, placed in the cargo bin and returned plane-side or in the jetway when you arrive.

General guidelines to think about when flying any airline:

  • Check the TSA Website for their requirements for security.






{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

megan August 11, 2011 at 11:53 AM

WOW! That just does my head in. You’re kinda’ reminding me of your dad with all this data collecting. 😉 Where is the Relavent conference?

Michelle August 11, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Yeah, once a nerd, always a nerd. 😉 The conference is in Harrisburg, PA. Way too far to drive, unfortunately.

Amanda August 12, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Found your blog tonight searching info about the Relevant Conference! I am going, too!

Really looking forward to it!


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