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New airline luggage fees for carryon bags?

November 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The holiday travel season is upon us, and some airline passengers may be surprised to learn there is a new baggage fee being charged by some airlines.

According to George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com, several airlines are now weighing carryon bags. If they are heavier than their designated weight limit, they are then taken from the passenger and put in the baggage compartment -- for a fee.

"When I first heard about this, it was really just Hawaiian Airlines that was enforcing a 25-pound limit, and actually weighing the bags at the check-in gate to make sure that people weren't over, and then taking the bags," said Hobica. "But the more I investigate this, I learned that it was other airlines as well in Europe."

It's one thing to have to pay a baggage fee, but many travelers like to stow their valuables in their carryon bags.

"The airlines aren't responsible. They will not take responsibility at all, or liability, for any valuables that are lost in transit in a checked bag," said Hobica.

But here's a suggestion:

"If you want to take a chance, have a bag like a satchel or something that you can transfer valuables at the last minute at the gate," said Hobica.

Unfortunately, airlines that have a weight-limit policy don't make it easy to find on their websites, so you may have to call to see if they do have a policy.

If you find out there is a weight limit, weigh your bag before you leave home and make sure it's not over that limit. Otherwise it's going to cost you.

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