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Why AA Has A 50 Lb Bagage Rule  
User currently offlineTHVGJP From Ukraine, joined Mar 2002, 158 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks ago) and read 6286 times:

On a recent AA flight I checked in my bags and one bag weighed 52 lbs and the other 20. I was told about the 50 lb limit and the 25 dollar surcharge so I just put the extra 2 lbs in the 20 lb bag, no problem no charge. What is the purpose on this limit? I can see limiting someone with one suitcase packed with bricks, but someone with more than 1 bag to check?? Is this some sort of union rule that the handlers have a 50 lb weight limit they can load??

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2147 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6213 times:

Lets see you try to stack 200 bags that weigh 90 lbs each in a cargo bin that is 100 degrees F with no air circulating. Try doing that 6 times per shift without breaking your back and getting a hernia.

User currently offlineUPSfueler From United States of America, joined May 2003, 430 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6171 times:

Hey Stranger Smile, Well Said

User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3702 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6181 times:
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Bagmasher's point doesn't cover international travel. If THVGJP was travelling internationally the limit would have been 70Lbs.





User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6150 times:

While ground staff have to contend with 70lb bags, flight attendants only have to deal with a maximum of 15 (for the most part).

What an unfair world, eh.  Big grin


User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6135 times:

And the next time you see someone being "nice" at the checkin and allow a heavy bag past with no extra charge and no heavy tag... please kill them for me.

I once pulled down a 35 kg bag from the top of a pile on a cart with one hand, expecting it to weigh 20 kg. A few years later, my wrist still hurts when I strain it in the wrong way, reminding me of that.

Yes, I bet some passenger was real happy not to have to pay the extra fee.

/Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineJETSTAR From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1651 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6137 times:
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This is just another way that AA and the other major airlines use to screw their customers, along with their $100.00 change fees and "use it or lose it" fare policies.

At AA, their official response to the baggage fee is to offset the cost of handling luggage. So now instead of taking one piece of luggage that weighs over 50 pounds, passengers are now taking 2 pieces of luggage, both under 50 pounds, thus increasing the workload of the luggage handlers.

No low cost carrier has implemented this charge or the other rip off charges and this is another reason why the LCC's are gaining on the majors.

I know of a family who was ripped off by AA on this luggage charge and they have sworn never to fly AA again, they now fly only Southwest or Airtrans.
So who made out on this, AA made some quick money but lost all their future business.

This is because AA and the other major airlines are run by bean counters whose only concern is how much money they made today.



User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6123 times:

JETSTAR, I can only read your post and shake my head.

The weight limit is there to protect the baggage handlers, and there is an option if you don't want to pay the cost, and that is to not have a bag that's over the weight limit.

Southwest and Airtrans also has the same weight policy, in fact, you would be hard pressed to find an airline that doesn't. The only difference is what they charge for the overweight bag, and it's usually by the pound. With Southwest (just looked it up), it's anywhere between 35-70 dollars between 70 to 110 lbs.

Two bags may be more than one, but I'd take two lighter bags than one heavy bag anyday.


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6132 times:

I'm with you 100% on the "other rip off charges", but you are mistaken:

Southwest:

Weight and Size Allowance
Maximum weight is 70 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height) per checked piece of luggage. Overweight items from 71 to 100 pounds and oversized items (i.e., surfboards, bicycles, vaulting poles) will be accepted for a charge, ranging from $35.00 to $70.00 per item. Fishing rods will be accepted as baggage at no extra charge if properly encased in a manufacturer's container or for a charge of $10.00 if encased in a container furnished by carrier. Any item weighing more than 100 pounds must be shipped as Air Cargo, however, Customers cannot use SWA Cargo unless classified as a Known Shipper as defined by the FAA or FAA approved Indirect Air Carriers (IAC). For all Cargo inquires please call the Cargo Sales and Service Center @ 1-800-533-1222.


ATA (they don't mention what happens if your bag is over 70 pounds)

Flights within the Continental U.S., Mexico, Caribbean, Hawaii:
Maximum three pieces
Not to exceed 70 lbs. per piece
Total allowed weight is 140 lbs. per ticketed customer


Airtran:

For each fare-paying customer, AirTran Airways allows three (3) checked pieces, with size limitations. The maximum weight is 70 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches for the first piece of baggage. Additional checked baggage may not exceed 55 inches or 70 pounds.

Excess baggage will be charged at the rate of $50 for each piece checked there after


Jetblue:

Free Checked Baggage Allowance: As a fare-paying customer, JetBlue allows you to check up to 3 pieces of luggage, except for travel to and from San Juan, Puerto Rico where the number of checked bags is limited to 2 pieces. The maximum weight is 70 pounds each. The maximum size is 62 inches (length plus width plus height) each. Excess baggage charges apply to additional pieces, overweight pieces and oversized pieces of luggage. In no event will baggage be accepted that is over 100 pounds or exceeds 80 inches in overall dimensions.



User currently offlineAvioniker From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1109 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6137 times:

While I can't and won't disagree in principle with the answers above;

The reason for the rule is simple. It takes fuel to move pounds. If you're allowed to take one bag with 70 pounds you'll cause the airline to use more fuel than one with 50 pounds. The idea is to get people who don't want to carry more than one bag (that's the vast majority) to pack less thus burning less fuel and saving the company money.

If you're carrying more than one bag the ticket agent should have had the mental acuity to make a total allowance instead of making the you repack.

Unfortunately we don't have all our ticket agents on the "same page" and some just have to make the passengers bow to their will because they need to feel empowered or whatever because their teenage daughter called them stupid this morning or their spouse is fooling around...

But I digress...

I guess the best example of "martinettism" I've seen recently would be: the other day a ticket agent wouldn't issue a boarding pass to a full fare first class passenger because he got to the head of the line (after a 20 minute wait in line) 20 minutes before departure. It didn't matter that it's a small airport and the delay was caused by the Customer "service" people in the first place, he just had to be important and impose his unreasoning will on someone.

Oops I've digressed again...

Time to quit and get into another line of work.

Bottom line: If you can get the one bag passengers to carry less you burn less fuel and the "bean counters" can take credit for saving the company money!



One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
User currently offlineJETSTAR From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1651 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6111 times:
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My argument is with the lowered 50 pound free limit, not the old 70 pounds.

All the airlines had a 70 pound allowable weight for baggage, but any traveler flying out on a week or more trip their luggage will usually be over 50 pounds, but not 70 pounds. AA and the other major airlines by adding this charge are just imposing an unfair tax on their customers in an effort to enhance revenues.

Just as others said on this thread, Southwest and JetBlue and other LCC's still allow up to 70 pounds free. I agree that any luggage over 70 pounds should have an overweight charge added.

BTW, a rule of thumb for the amount of fuel needed to carry the additional luggage weight is 1/3 the weight of the luggage. So to carry the additional 20 pounds of luggage will cost the airlines is 6.67 pounds of fuel, which is about one gallon of jet fuel, at about 80 cents per gallon, yet they charge $25.00 extra so that excuse does not fly with me.

Its just another airline rip off and does nothing to help the bottom line because once a customer is charged this, most will never will fly that airline again. Every time a major airline adds another stupid charge or penalty just sends more business to the LCC's.



User currently offlineAvioniker From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1109 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6105 times:

Rules of thumb are just that. Some thumbs are fatter than others.
It's simple: Less weight carried on the flight equals less fuel burn equals more profit per seat mile. Add a $25.00 fee for excess weight and there's more money in the cash drawer at the end of the day. Pay or go to another operator.
Vote with your wallet.
Want to fly AA, pay.
Want to fly Southwest, don't pay.
What's to argue?
Now what's the technical aspect to this line of conversation?



One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
User currently offlinePER744 From Australia, joined Mar 2003, 405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6008 times:

I got a bit worried about the 50lb rule when I last flew on AA, but thankfully as I was flying on a Qantas flight number and connecting to a Qantas flight out of LAX the guy at check-in told me that the rule didn't apply, so I was able to check my 3 bags, weighing 69lbs, 65lbs and 40lbs. (Gotta love the extra bag allowance with Qantas Club membership)

And as for the fuel/weight/cost issue, I only weigh around 53kg (115lbs) so I'm of the opinion they should introduce combined passenger and bag weight limits. If a passenger weighs twice what I do then I should be allowed some extra luggage to get equal value :-P


User currently offlineAvioniker From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1109 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5964 times:

There is an average weight used in the load computations for passengers. It used to be 165lbs (1969) then 170 then 180 and now 190 and 195 (summer/winter).
I wonder if MacDonalds will start delivering anytime soon?



One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5946 times:

I damm near dislocated my arm one time because I tried to pick up a gym duffel bag that had, unknown to me, about 175lbs of barbell weights in it.

I have no problems with setting a weight limit and then charging if the bag goes over it. But the limits have to be printed in something larger then the mice-type that it usually is in on the back of the ticket jacket.

Fair warning needs to happen.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5945 times:

L-188 - my sister in law was flying back and had a BUNCH of old magazines in a suitcase, and the thing weighed in at about 70 pounds. I made up a large florescent orange sign with HEAVY written in letters about 2 inches high and stuck it on both sides of the bag. Theres nothig worse than trying to pick up a bag you think weighs about 20 pounds and find that it weighs 70+ pounds. I dunno...I just figure that if I had to load those bags, I'd like a heads up on the heavy ones.

User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5967 times:

The reason the bags where lowered to 50 lbs for domestic trips is to protect the folks who have to handle these bags. Remember that in many places some poor CSR has to lift those bags and put them on the belt to the bag room. Many more CSR's are women and Rampers. I'm not saying women can't handle the extra weight, they do, but the airlines are saving their employees from getting hurt and saving themselves the medical costs.

I myself hurt my knee this summer on a bag that only weighed 30 some pounds.

Work related injuries had been increasing among Ramp and CS due to bags. By lowering the weight they made it safer, by lowering the charge, (UA charges $25) they make the overweight penalty easy to afford.

International bags are still 70 lbs for the simple reason that there are signifigantly fewer of them systemwide. The airlines also understand that travelling to another country or continent requires a longer stay at times. therefore, more weight in international bags.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5948 times:

What probably saved me, was that it was while I was working for Reeve. Generally the luggage ran much heavier then a normal airline. That and we generally delt with alot of freight in the +100 pound range, such as boxes of cod wad.

That bag had absolutely no markings. We had, "Heavy" stickers that they counter attendents where supposed to put on, oddly enough, heavy bags. Turns out this bag belonged to a ramper from Anchorage, who put it on the bag cart directly rather then going through the terminal.

So all it got was a comail sticker and a bag tag.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineBen From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 50
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5941 times:

L188,

cod wad ??

Dare I ask? Fish farming?


User currently offlineAIR757200 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1579 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5786 times:


AA's reason for lowering the weight limits on baggage is to introduce new revenue. The implications that the weight reduction was due to "handling" by employees is not necessarily true.

The airlines are not in the business to haul everything in your house. That's what FedEx, USPS, UPS, etc. are for.



User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5698 times:

Nope, won't take much imagination.

Roe comes from girl fish, milt (aka cod wad) comes from boy fish. The milt sacks are removed from the fish as it gutted.

These sacks are flown to Asian markets fresh, where it is considered a delicacy. If memory serves those 100 lbs boxes are worth a few grand by the time they reach the markets over there.

I am told on good authority that they fry it up like scrambled eggs, and it is considered an aphrodisiac....

I swear, you could probably sell about anything over there if you just label it an aphrodisiac.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
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