View Full Version : Should I expect SWA to charge me for overweight luggage?

09-25-2005, 01:32 AM
WE had 4 people and 5 pieces of checked baggage, so far less than our "allowed" amoung of 3 per person or 12 pieces of luggage. Our big suitcase was around 47 lbs when we left so we were very careful about packing it upon our return since we did not have a scale. We gave our luggage to the skycap guys outside since we had checked in online and the lines were very long inside. When we got our luggage, our big piece had a tag on it that said "51-70 lbs". I got home and weighed it. It was exactly 51 lbs. So 1 lb over. I will be so irked if I get charged for this as I could have tried to move something if they had made it known to me something was over. What will they try to charge me if they do? And has anyone successfully called and gotten SWA to waive the charge?

09-25-2005, 05:12 AM
Chances are, if they were going to charge you they'd have done it at some point while transporting your luggage.

To avoid problems and concerns in the future and with five pieces of checked luggage, why not just pack more evenly - especially when you don't have a scale? In fact, why not just distribute things more evenly anyway? A 47 or 51 pound piece of luggage CAN'T be a joy to transport, either for you, or the Skycaps, or the luggage handlers...

09-25-2005, 09:03 AM
The warning tag is for the baggage handlers. The union contract says they'll get a warning of heavy bags so they'll be less inclined to injure their backs.

09-25-2005, 11:45 AM
If they didn't collect it up front you are clear. If they are going to charge you it's at the point you check your luggage....

However, I would suggest smaller luggage next time.

09-25-2005, 03:39 PM
Ok, thanks. Sounds like we may not get charged then. I'll check my credit card in a day or 2 to see if a charge appears. The luggage was a set that was a gift from my parents. Out of curiousity I just weighed the biggest piece by itself with nothing in it and it weighed 15 lbs. We did pack very evenly, and since the luggage rolls, we didn't notice that it was overly heavy or anything. We basically had 2 rolling suitcases, 2 hangup bags, and 1 toiletry bag. The big suitcase was only about 2/3 full and could have fit tons more, but we overpacked the others due to the weight issue. Due to this weight problem, my DH has suggested we just go buy another smaller suitcase so this doesn't happen again.

09-25-2005, 04:00 PM
My brother handles baggage for another airline. Generally, his airline will let it slide if you are a (very few) pounds over the limit. The tag is to alert them that the bad is heavy.

09-25-2005, 05:23 PM
If they charge people for being overweight, than it is easy for them to charge for bags. :rotfl2: :earseek: :rolleyes1

09-25-2005, 06:31 PM
This is unfortunately a danger of a large suitcase and/or packing with ziplock bags.

I use my large suitcase for my 14 day work trips, but pack a small nylon duffle in the outside pocket. My suitcase starts out heavy as it is a very good quality heavy denier nylon, and once I add two weeks of travel items plus work supplies it can easily be overweight.

If so, I just pull out my nylon duffel and transfer a few items to that, then check both.

A handy tip for future travel to avoid the overweight charges.

09-25-2005, 06:59 PM
They don't charge retroactively. If the bag is overweight when it is checked they will either decide to let it slide or tell you upfront so that you have a change to avoid the charge by lightening the load. If you choose to check the overweight bag, you have to sign for the extra charge at check-in.

You're home and you have your bags, you will not be charged this time. As others have pointed out, the weight warning tag is per the handler's union contract, and as of now, no airline that I know of back-checks those tags against excess-weight fees.

09-25-2005, 07:09 PM
One of my friends just came back on SWA and they were going to charge her $50 for an over weight bag. They let them move some stuff in to their other bag and they met the weight requirements and were not charged. I agree that it is good to take (if you have the room) a duffle bag just in case.

09-25-2005, 07:17 PM
I take a Totes duffle which fits inside it's own pocket - about 3 inches by 4 inches when collapsed, weighs very little; cost about $10.

I end up giving so many of these away to family and colleagues and have to keep restocking so that I have my own!

09-25-2005, 07:26 PM
We flew to MCO for a cruise out of Port Canaveral (Mariner of the Seas) and my brother's girlfriend's bag was over the 50 lb weight both ways and SW charged her $25.00 each way for the overage. Her bag was 53 lbs. They charged on 9/4 in Chicago going and 9/11 in MCO coming back.

09-26-2005, 02:01 PM
JK, was she aware of the charge when flying? I mean how did she find out she was charged? So far noone from SWA has notified me of any charge. I haven't had a chance to ck w/my credit card company that paid for my tickets yet, but will do so today or tomorrow....still settling in from our trip.

My main problem was I let DH finish the packing. I told him no shoes in our big bag. I found his sandals in there and they weighed exactly 1 lb. They could have easily been moved to another bag as our hang up bags have slots for shoes and 1 bag had none in them. Moral of the story...dbl ck your husband's work! ha ha

09-26-2005, 04:53 PM
ON our honeymoon we had an overweight bag (too many souvenirs :blush: ) and they let us know when they tagged our luggage. We were able to move our things around right there to get our bags within the weight guidelines. I don't think they can charge your in arrears, so you should be fine.

09-27-2005, 08:24 AM
When brother's girlfriend put her bag on the scale, it was over by 3 lbs, in Chicago and she was given the option to either move stuff around or pay the overage fee. She chose to pay the fee instead of moving stuff around. She could either pay in cash or charge, she whipped out her charge card. Same thing happend on the way back in Orlando. So much for overpacking for a cruise.
Same thing happened to me with AA, when DH & I were going to Hawaii for 12 days. Took only one very large bag and it was over by 5 lbs both ways. Only had to pay on the way going out of Chicago, coming home they let me slide.
You will know when it is happening that you are over weitght and have to pay.

09-27-2005, 08:13 PM
Southwest has the right to charge extra if the bags are over weight like all the others. Keep your bags in the weight limit and you have no wories at all. Enjoy the lower rates. :banana: :Pinkbounc :banana:

10-14-2005, 01:33 PM
Ok, I think those of you that said the tag wasjust to notify handlers must have been right. So far no charge has appeared on my credit card. Thank goodness we tipped that sky cap well!