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Old 04-27-2013, 06:31 AM   #1
CJ2001
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Baggage fees

Hi everyone, have been visiting this forum for awhile & been getting very useful information from you all. This is my very first time on ANY forum ever so bit nervous!

Have been to DL twice - once as a teenager & last year with my kids & DH (have a new found respect for parents for taking us as kids, cause I have never been more exhausted in my life then the 3 days we were in DL!). Loved US as a kid & love it even more as an adult.

Only problem we had was flight seating (which was down to our TA) & LAX! Hated LAX with their online baggage check in & paying extra for baggage was a bit of a shock cause TA said we did not have to pay baggage cause all flights were on same ticket. No...... she didn't do that, also didn't organise kids meals on Air NZ flight (Air NZ were fantastic & tried to ring ahead to connecting flight to get kids meals). Then she didn't allocate our seats on internal flights - kids were not sitting with us on United flight to San Fran, DD 11 was in front of me & DS 9 in front of DH - think this happened quite a bit cause overheard an American saying "they'd split up another family"! After that I rang ahead for our Flight to Vancouver & allocated our seats.

Was all a learning curve for us as this was our first overseas holiday by ourselves with our kids (been to Europe before kids) & actually first holiday ever without anyone else (go on alot of holidays with my parents).

We (well me cause I'm still trying to talk DH into long haul flight - but I'm sure all I have to do is tell him we will get a new Tv & he will agree to holiday!!) are hoping to go to disney world in October/November 2014 for Halloween & to hopefully catch a bit of Xmas decorations. I had no idea till I read these forums & borrowed Fodor's guide how extensive planning you need to go to DW. Thanks to this forum I have a page of information & tips on how to go about maximising our time there and don't feel so overwhelmed.

Only thing I can't get my head around is internal flights & baggage. This will probably be last time we go to us & hoping to go to New York, Niagara falls & maybe Vail, Colorado. How do we cut costs of baggage? I have noticed with a lot of flights they say one stopover permitted - do they mean overnight, like if we wanted to stopover in LA for a night then we wouldn't have to pay for baggage when we got on next flight to Orlando or NY?

Sorry, think I have rambled on a bit!! Once you start you can't stop! Not even sure if I have set myself up properly on here

Thanks for reading
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:55 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, I can't be of any help on international flights, but once in the US, if you fly on JetBlue you get one bag each included and on Southwest you get two bags each included. They are both pretty popular airlines and fly to many cities nationwide.

On the flights where I have seen a stopover, you don't have a choice about stating there longer. That is just where your planes connect to the next leg of your trip. This can be as short as never getting off the plane and people joining you, or it could be eight hours sitting in an airport, so check carefully. I have read on here that each of the airlines has different rules about charges for baggage in these layover cases, but again Southwest and JetBlue have some luggage included.

I'm sure that you will get lots of helpful info on here. Good luck!
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard. Sounds like a great trip you are planning. I will leave it to the resident experts to advise you on the baggage matter but there was a recent thread on this board discussing the very same issue. Our last cross-US trip we flew internals with Southwest who include baggage allowances-so do another -JetBlue I think -someone else will chip in and tell you. Depending on whom you fly internationally with you usually get baggage included on the internal sectors even when flying on partner domestic airlines but as to managing it to your best advantage with stop overs etc, again I will let the US experts advise you. Just wanted to say welcome. Lots of great advice on here as you have found out so far.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:23 AM   #4
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Welcome to the boards. Your holiday sounds great!

I try to book my long haul with one stopover if I can. Sadly, that usually means LA, SF (or Dallas) depending on which airline and which route you choose. Internally, I do try to fly SouthWest/AirTran (or JetBlue) if I can, to reduce the cost of baggage; and mix it up with the other internal airlines.

More often than not, I just pay the baggage charges.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:23 AM   #5
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Welcome CJ2001.

This is a summary of airline baggage fees:

http://www.kayak.com/airline-fees

If you book the domestic and international flights on the same ticket, you should get free baggage. But (and I am not up to date with all the current fees), you are normally allowed one free stopover per itinerary (eg Sydney - LA - New York - Sydney) then extra stopovers cost per person. If you have a few internal flights it can work out cheaper to book the internals yourself.

Re the seating, I get the booking reference and do the seating allocation online myself. We booked LA-Orlando using Qantas points. I asked Qantas for the American Airlines booking reference and have done our seat selection. And always ring and confirm any special meal requests.

Oct/Nov is a great time to visit WDW.

Hopefully someone else can answer your other questions.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
CJ2001
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Thanks everyone, all very helpful information.

Apparently, I am slightly obsessed with DL & Disneyworld but they just don't understand the amount of planning involved in these holidays

Sorry getting carried away with this little smilies!
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:42 PM   #7
periwinkle20
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Not obsessed just organised!

We went to DL this time last year and booked out flights through our travel agent Brisbane - LA - NYC - LA - Brisbane. We did the NYC leg one week into our trip and our TA assured me it was booked as part of an international ticket Virgin/Delta codeshare. Before we went I researched and asked the TA to confirm baggage included....however at LAX when we arrived they tried to charge us for the luggage. Fortunately we had a nice lady who explained that is not the case in the US, TA's are always telling their clients baggage is included but it's not. We had left a few bags behind in Anaheim as we were returning to the same hotel and the nice lady waived the charges. I also asked her to put a note on our tix so we wouldn't have the same problem on the return leg. Coming back they tried to charge us again and then read the notes so we were lucky.

It seems very hit and miss and was quite stressful at the time but worked out for us in the end.

I would never use our TA again as we had to keep double checking everything and getting him to fix things
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:50 PM   #8
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Firstly, so sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with your first TA for your family holiday... a comfortable flight definitely sets the tone for the holiday in my experience, and I've been very happy to have that back up in the past.

Having said that, for your Long Haul from Aus, I'd still go back to a TA you trust, to at least check all the flight rules of which ever flight you're planning on taking that involves a stop over, as each individual flight has different rules connected to the stop over which are set by the airline - which is easy for the TA to check for you with a click of a button- instead of hours for you on the phone - and could save you a lot of grief re: baggage inclusions, seat allocation and kids meals... I'm surprised your TA didn't check and book all of those things for you as a matter of course as part of the service, as its part of the booking process anyway.
Perhaps its just me, but the stress of wading through stop overs and fare rules is something I always handball so I can enjoy the other planning...

My last trip to the US I booked my own internals online with Southwest and they were definitely cheaper to do that way, and had great luggage allowance ( two suitcases).

Good luck with your planning
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
CJ2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by periwinkle20 View Post
Not obsessed just organised!

We went to DL this time last year and booked out flights through our travel agent Brisbane - LA - NYC - LA - Brisbane. We did the NYC leg one week into our trip and our TA assured me it was booked as part of an international ticket Virgin/Delta codeshare. Before we went I researched and asked the TA to confirm baggage included....however at LAX when we arrived they tried to charge us for the luggage. Fortunately we had a nice lady who explained that is not the case in the US, TA's are always telling their clients baggage is included but it's not. We had left a few bags behind in Anaheim as we were returning to the same hotel and the nice lady waived the charges. I also asked her to put a note on our tix so we wouldn't have the same problem on the return leg. Coming back they tried to charge us again and then read the notes so we were lucky.

It seems very hit and miss and was quite stressful at the time but worked out for us in the end.

I would never use our TA again as we had to keep double checking everything and getting him to fix things


Sounds like the TA we had, I double checked every thing also. Emailed all hotels & found out she had booked wrong type of room. I might as well had done it all myself! And then she somehow quoted us $1200 for 4 x 1 day First in line pass at Universal Studios - I got her to price match for website for $690!! Massiv difference!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
CJ2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushu mama View Post
Firstly, so sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with your first TA for your family holiday... a comfortable flight definitely sets the tone for the holiday in my experience, and I've been very happy to have that back up in the past.

Having said that, for your Long Haul from Aus, I'd still go back to a TA you trust, to at least check all the flight rules of which ever flight you're planning on taking that involves a stop over, as each individual flight has different rules connected to the stop over which are set by the airline - which is easy for the TA to check for you with a click of a button- instead of hours for you on the phone - and could save you a lot of grief re: baggage inclusions, seat allocation and kids meals... I'm surprised your TA didn't check and book all of those things for you as a matter of course as part of the service, as its part of the booking process anyway.
Perhaps its just me, but the stress of wading through stop overs and fare rules is something I always handball so I can enjoy the other planning...

My last trip to the US I booked my own internals online with Southwest and they were definitely cheaper to do that way, and had great luggage allowance ( two suitcases).

Good luck with your planning

Yes I have a friend whose a TA so am thinking of seeing her, just didn't want to mix business with friendship.

Yeah I assumed she had allocated our seats, I asked her once about allocating seats so she did the one lot which was the flight over & that was it!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ2001 View Post
Hi everyone, have been visiting this forum for awhile & been getting very useful information from you all. This is my very first time on ANY forum ever so bit nervous!

Have been to DL twice - once as a teenager & last year with my kids & DH (have a new found respect for parents for taking us as kids, cause I have never been more exhausted in my life then the 3 days we were in DL!). Loved US as a kid & love it even more as an adult.

Only problem we had was flight seating (which was down to our TA) & LAX! Hated LAX with their online baggage check in & paying extra for baggage was a bit of a shock cause TA said we did not have to pay baggage cause all flights were on same ticket. No...... she didn't do that, also didn't organise kids meals on Air NZ flight (Air NZ were fantastic & tried to ring ahead to connecting flight to get kids meals). Then she didn't allocate our seats on internal flights - kids were not sitting with us on United flight to San Fran, DD 11 was in front of me & DS 9 in front of DH - think this happened quite a bit cause overheard an American saying "they'd split up another family"! After that I rang ahead for our Flight to Vancouver & allocated our seats.

Was all a learning curve for us as this was our first overseas holiday by ourselves with our kids (been to Europe before kids) & actually first holiday ever without anyone else (go on alot of holidays with my parents).

We (well me cause I'm still trying to talk DH into long haul flight - but I'm sure all I have to do is tell him we will get a new Tv & he will agree to holiday!!) are hoping to go to disney world in October/November 2014 for Halloween & to hopefully catch a bit of Xmas decorations. I had no idea till I read these forums & borrowed Fodor's guide how extensive planning you need to go to DW. Thanks to this forum I have a page of information & tips on how to go about maximising our time there and don't feel so overwhelmed.

Only thing I can't get my head around is internal flights & baggage. This will probably be last time we go to us & hoping to go to New York, Niagara falls & maybe Vail, Colorado. How do we cut costs of baggage? I have noticed with a lot of flights they say one stopover permitted - do they mean overnight, like if we wanted to stopover in LA for a night then we wouldn't have to pay for baggage when we got on next flight to Orlando or NY?

Sorry, think I have rambled on a bit!! Once you start you can't stop! Not even sure if I have set myself up properly on here

Thanks for reading
Are you or your dh in any frequent flyer program's and have 'status'. If so this gives you a big boost in luggage if you fly a partner airline in the us. Eg American for qantas.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:06 PM   #12
CJ2001
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Are you or your dh in any frequent flyer program's and have 'status'. If so this gives you a big boost in luggage if you fly a partner airline in the us. Eg American for qantas.
We are with velocity but only got one lot of points for last years trip. What is 'status' in frequent flyer program's?
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:24 AM   #13
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i, too, on my last few trips bought the entire airfare routing as 1 ticket from Qantas. that way all my baggage is covered and no fees, and it gets checked through to destination when there are connecting flights (although remember you have to clear customs, but there is an airline desk just outside the customs/immi area and you just hand over the bag again - no re-checking in)

i found that although the airfare was marginally more expensive (say $200/$300) than putting together individual fares, I did save on baggage fees and felt I gained in convenience from having it all on 1 ticket. Also I would check everything in and avoid the overhead locker fight that happens on US domestic flights as they try to avoid the baggage fees. Less dragging all that stuff around the terminals.

I have had numerous experiences where the planes are late and connections tight. But the airlines know I am coming (3 times I have been ushered off planes first cause they know), my baggage has made it with me, and once when i missed a connection in DFW, AA knew i would miss the flight and had me on the next one already when i walked up to the boarding gate.

for one or two people I think that is a small price to pay.

I do recognise that a family of 5 may look twice at their budget and seriously think about SW Airlines
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ2001 View Post
We are with velocity but only got one lot of points for last years trip. What is 'status' in frequent flyer program's?
So with FF programs they have two components: flying points and status credits. Points will mostly stay with you for years and you use them for free flights, upgrades and purchasing products.

status credits are not used to get free flights, but to establish your relationship with the airline. they expire every year. So the more you fly with one airline, the more "status" you'll have with them and the higher your status, the more FF points they give you per flight, and the higher up in the queue you will be for receiving the perks - like being able to actually use your FF points to get an upgrade; have additional bags, priority check in and the nicer customer service.

that's why i get such crappy service from Qantas. I'm not a Platinum status flyer. Even though I only ever fly Qantas, I don't fly enough to keep a high status so they don't care.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:55 AM   #15
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Ahhh baggage fees...god love 'em..

I think as we all continue to travel, we now accept baggage fees as an expense we cant get around..up there with travel insurance, online shopping and mickey bars.

As previously mentioned you can NOT pay fees in the USA if you
1)fly first class
2)high up in FF program
3)take carry on only
4)fly SW or any other LC carrier.

Gone are the days of generous luggage allowances or "all inclusive" airfares...they will nickel and dime you to death. That's why we now fly first Domestically in the USA with either Virgin America or Delta....for an extra $100 + pp everything is included (3 bags each) and we get to ride in the pointy end.

Just do your numbers. And try to put bags in bags on the way over...less bags = less $$$...

here to help oh and welcome to the anzac boards....
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