aukahkay
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Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:43 pm

The usual baggage allowance for economy class is 20 kg for most international airlines.
However, when travelling to and from the US, the baggage allowance is increased to two pieces of luggage not exceeding 70 lbs (32 kg) each which means that the total baggage allowance is 64 kg!
I have often wondered why there is this discrepancy between flights to the US and flights to other international destinations. Are American air travellers in the habit of bringing more luggage than travellers from other parts of the world?
 
GSPITNL
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:45 pm

You have never seen my mother pack for a weekend trip! LOL

I think that Americans do tend to overpack and bring more than they really need. I am guilty of doing it!
Fly Delta - The Only Way To Fly! Silver Medallion Baby :)
 
g4resagent
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:54 pm

I admit I am guilty of it also. I have to pay extra when returning from a trip for my bag being to heavy too!
 
aukahkay
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:54 pm

Has this American tendency to overpack been translated into civil aviation regulations giving more generous luggage allowance for flights to and from the US?
 
GSPITNL
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:57 pm

I would say that it is a part of the reason, yes.
Fly Delta - The Only Way To Fly! Silver Medallion Baby :)
 
Jano
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:10 pm

Quoting Aukahkay (Thread starter):
However, when travelling to and from the US, the baggage allowance is increased to two pieces of luggage not exceeding 70 lbs (32 kg) each which means that the total baggage allowance is 64 kg!

This used to be the case. At least on NW. And my guess is others followed.

It was 2x 70lb, then 2x 70 lb for elites only, now it's 2x 50lb only with some exceptions. See http://www.nwa.com/travel/luggage/checked.html
The Widget Air Line :)
 
captaink
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:13 pm

Well it used to be 2 pieces at 32kg to all international destinations. This however has been changed, now being 2/20kg as i found out when I flew JFK/MIA/MEX earlier this month on AA. Bags between 20kg and 32kg carry an extra USD25 charge. AA has exceptions keeping the 2/32kg on certain routes such as

Bogota, Colombia (BOG)
Cali, Colombia (CLO)
Managua, Nicaragua (MGA)
Medellin, Colombia (MDE)
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP)
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (POP)
San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)
Santiago, Dominican Republic (STI)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ)
Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)
There is something special about planes....
 
seanp11
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:30 pm

I bring alot of dirty laundry home from college....
 
m404
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:02 pm

Having worked International flights for the last 10 years I'd have to say it's the other way around. Non-native US citizens carry far more as do non-US citizens.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
3201
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:07 pm

Americans are DENSER packers. I'm always amazed at LHR or FRA when I see these enormous suitcases and I think "I could never carry that, how is that 12-year-old middle-eastern/south asian girl lugging it around" and then they open it up (for reasons I don't understand either), and it's 2/3 empty space.

My bags are small, but they're packed completely full, I always volume-limit myself and push it right up to that limit. The first time I ran into that silly weight-limit for carry-on's that many non-American carriers have, I was in big trouble.
7 hours aint long-haul
 
superhub
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:56 pm

This is my first post on Airliners.net

I guess the more generous allowance is due to the supersize-me culture in the US. A lot of things seem to be more generous in the US, from McDonald's portions, to cheap (relative to the UK) petrol prices, to baggage allowances.

I travel a lot on HKG-SFO, HKG-LHR, LHR-SFO sectors, and I definitely prefer flying to/from the US than other places - I can always pack my luggages full without worrying about the weight restrictions. 32kg is amazingly generous! I do wish it gets implemented worldwide.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:39 pm

Quoting 3201 (Reply 9):
My bags are small, but they're packed completely full, I always volume-limit myself and push it right up to that limit. The first time I ran into that silly weight-limit for carry-on's that many non-American carriers have, I was in big trouble.

but what do you actually take ?

I have never been able to figure this out ... if I am correct most Americans take ridiculously short vacations (I am sure that I read somewhere the legal minimum vacation an employer has to offer is only 2 weeks annually .. or am I wrong ?) and yet they seem to take so much with them . I went off travelling for 18 months and easily fit inside the 20KG limit so I am always puzzled when I see people go for a week vacation with 2 huge suitcases that they can barely lift - when I worked in the hospitality industry in Scotland I can recall Americans coming for a long weekend (maybe 3-4 days ) from the East Coast of the USA and yet they still would have two huge suitcases each ... all the staff used to watch them like hawks everytime they came out of their rooms ... we were expecting them to change clothes 5 or 6 times a day ... but I never saw anything that totalled up to more than the contents of a small holdall ... so please , if it doesn't involve giving away any national secret what is all that stuff that most Americans take on vacation but never actually unpack ???
 
aukahkay
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:20 pm

Quoting M404 (Reply 8):
Having worked International flights for the last 10 years I'd have to say it's the other way around. Non-native US citizens carry far more as do non-US citizens.

Are you referring to flights between the US and Central America and Mexico on AA? From what Captaink posted, it seems like the Latin Americans tend to carry a lot of luggage.
 
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par13del
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:14 pm

I think the biggest reason for the US allowances is shopping, shopping, shopping. Many American's travel abroad and shop a lot, souvenirs, etc. Many countries close to the US, have residents who travel there to take advantage of low prices, so we take more bags and pay the extra overweight charges. Just ask the spotters who frequent Mia, FLL, NYC, ATL - East Coast, sure the same applies on the West Coast - how much baggage is loaded on those flights, AA A300's to Central America usually have holds that are full, and this is in addition to all the exclusive cargo carriers who fly some of the same routes. Bear in mind that ferries like you have in Europe do not exist in this part of the world, except Canada, so for most people, getting something from the US is a plane ride as no low cost ferry option exist. Freight forwarders are just catching on.
 
bigb
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:32 pm

I haven't seen this mention, but is this due to the fact that more cargo is being carried internationally compare to domestically? Think of all the imported and exported goods.
ETSN Baber, USN
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:34 pm

Quoting Aukahkay (Thread starter):
However, when travelling to and from the US, the baggage allowance is increased to two pieces of luggage not exceeding 70 lbs

The 70 pound limit is dropping to 50 pounds per piece with many US carriers.

The 20kg weight restiction is a treaty-driven weight restriction that most european carriers use. It's the same treaty that governs loss of life lawsuits and compensation rules for international flights.

North Americans tend to like to bring along the kitchen sink when we travel. The historically higher limit has been to please the customer. Now it is becoming a way to increase revenue for airlines through overweight baggage fees.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
aukahkay
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:57 pm

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 15):
The 70 pound limit is dropping to 50 pounds per piece with many US carriers.

Could this reduction in baggage allowance to 50 lbs be linked to the Chapter 11 Bankrupcy Protection filed by NW, UA, DL and US? After all, heavier luggage means higher fuel costs and fuel prices are now at a historical high.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:05 am

Quoting Aukahkay (Reply 16):
Could this reduction in baggage allowance to 50 lbs be linked to the Chapter 11 Bankrupcy Protection filed by NW, UA, DL and US? After all, heavier luggage means higher fuel costs and fuel prices are now at a historical high.

You bet. It's a way to generate revenue. It's about money, pure and simple.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
baw716
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:26 am

Answer is simple: Americans as a whole take more stuff when they travel than other nationalities. For whatever reason, we just need it. Hence, the FAA in the USA mandated the 2 pc/30kg rule for passengers traveling to/from the USA.

Economically, its a killer; can you imagine the improvement in profitability of airlines flying to/from the USA if they could charge for anything over 20kg (which is the standard pretty much over the rest of the world)? Excess baggage is a wonderful thing. It makes flying to certain parts of the world profitable when it ordinarily would not be. FYI...Excess baggage on a per pound basis is often more profitable then freight.

This also explains of late why baggage allowances within the USA have been reduced; a lot of carriers within the USA have reduced the weight limit to around 50lbs per bag. With the cost of fuel where it is; carriers either have to limit the load or charge for the weight just to break even. Within the USA, the FAA cannot mandate weight requirements, its up to the individual carrier and its based on safety and economic factors. Once overseas, however, the government does stick its toes into things and this is the principal reason, in my opinion, why the weight requirement hasn't changed dramatically....yet.

baw716
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ANother
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:05 am

I've seen a lot of reason on WHY Americans (or Latins, or Europeans, or ME, or etc) might want to carry more luggage. But the questions is why does a passenger to/from/within the US get a larger allowance.

This comes from the US CAB (anybody remember them) investigation brought on by a Miami lawyer who had too much time on his hands. This happened in the 70s and after months of investigation the CAB determined that 'cube' was more important than 'weight'. Any maximum weight could only be for safety issues (staff injuries etc). They directed all airlines to change their tarffs to reflect the size of acceptable baggage and number of pieces (which could differ by class of service).

The DOT, who still regulate these matters, recently has been allowing individual airlines to reduce their maximum weights (but not number of pieces or sizes).

One day the DOT will get out of this business, but it won't be anytime soon.
 
kappel
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:12 am

And it's not only with US carriers. For example, KLM also allows 2 pcs of IIRC 20 kgs each to the US, but to other destinations, it's 1 piece, max 25 kg. Indeed a good question as to why this is.
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deltagator
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:16 am

Quoting Superhub (Reply 10):
This is my first post on Airliners.net

I guess the more generous allowance is due to the supersize-me culture in the US. A lot of things seem to be more generous in the US, from McDonald's portions, to cheap (relative to the UK) petrol prices, to baggage allowances.

Welcome aboard!

It amazes me how much my clothes weigh when I pack my bag. While I'm surely not a tiny guy it is my size 14/15 clodhopper shoes that bring in most of the weight. I also have to carry some tools and such when I travel overseas and that adds to it as well.

You are on the right path about the SupersizeMe culture over here but I wouldn't say that is the only thing behind the baggage allowance. Part of the supersized stuff going on over here is we just have so much more space to grow than Europe or Asia does. Don't get me started on the food though. A quarter pounder with cheese (royale with fromage for you French folks on here) is fine but the pund and a half of fries is ridiculous. I am always amazed at the size of hotel rooms, cars, etc. when I am overseas compared to the things we have here.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
sk601
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:24 am

Quoting Kappel (Reply 20):
For example, KLM also allows 2 pcs of IIRC 20 kgs each to the US, but to other destinations, it's 1 piece, max 25 kg.

Just a small correction:
To/from US and Canada 2 x 23 kgs
From MEX and GRU to Europe 2 x 23 kgs (if ticket bought in MEX/GRU)
From Europe to MEX/GRU max. 20 kgs (if ticket bought in Europe) M class and 30kgs C class.

All other destinations maximal 20 kgs for M-class and 30 for C-class.

Sometimes KL will allow more due to special offers, for example last year pax travelling from ACC were allowed 30 kgs because of xx-years of KL service to Ghana. I have also seen more allowance for pax from AUA to AMS if ticket was bought in AUA.

For sportsgear (bike/golfequipment/skis etc) there is ALWAYS a surcharge, as well as for PETC and AVIH.

Edit: There is 1 exception: AMS-PBM pax are allowed 25kgs in M-class and 35 kgs in WBC.

[Edited 2006-01-21 22:29:46]
 
warszawa
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:26 am

I almost got screwed when I went to Poland in Summer 2004.

I booked Air Canada DTW-YYZ-LHR, then LOT Polish LHR-WAW-RZE.

Well in DTW (at the United Airlines counter) they were able to check my bags ALL the way to RZE because Air Canada & LOT = Star Alliance. I was travelling with another family member. I had 2 massive suitcases weighing 70 pounds right on the money each. Family member had 2 also weighing 70 pounds each.

Bags made it to RZE no problem.

On the way back we had a problem. Since we booked *SEPERATE* itineraries, in RZE they were like "Uh, all 4 of these checked baggage weigh 70 pounds, we allow maximum 20kg per bag".

I nearly crapped my pants. The LOT lady who was checking us in refused to let it pass through, despite the fact that I showed her my Air Canada (seperate Itinerary) tickets for LHR-YYZ-DTW. She said "If you want to try to ask the manager go to the counter across the hall over there"...Last shot I guess, either I was going to pay MAJOR $$$ or who knows what.

The manager over at the counter for LOT Polish in RZE, an older guy, was very nice and understanding. Eventually after some persuasion (and showed him how they let us come here with 70 pounders) he let us go with all 4 bags. MAJOR lucky.

Bags were tagged RZE-WAW-LHR. Made it to LHR Terminal 1 and I had to lug all 4 70 pounders plus 2 checked carry ons to Terminal 3 on a rolling cart, THEN, spend 14 hours in Terminal 3 for my LHR-YYZ ACA869 flight in the morning. I stayed up the whole night to keep an eye on my bags (Laptop, $500 digital camera for pics, etc.).

That was the longest day i've ever experienced probably. Terminal 3 at 10pm till 7am fully awake...Terminal 3 was compleeeetely empty with just workers here and there. I stayed near the Virgin Atlantic counters...pacing for basically 8 hours (was afraid if I sat down especially around 3-4am i'd doze off).

Needless to say = This is what happens when you haul a ton of stuff, lol.
Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
 
BDL2DCA
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:28 am

Folks, try to keep the stereotypes and jabs at Americans out of this question. It is, fairly simply, market forces. US-based carriers historically had a 70lb limit, which was matched by foreign carriers for flights to the US. They would then charge an overage up to 100lbs, and beyond 100lbs per bag, refuse to accept the item except as freight.

With the advent of the TSA and the post-9/11 fallout, most airlines have added a lower tier into the system. So from 50-69lbs, they charge a small fee ($25), 70-100lbs a larger fee, and above 100lbs is freight. Part of that change is that TSA inspectors have a 50lb limit in their contract - so a bag over 50lbs requires two TSA inspectors to move it (under their work rules). I'm not sure if the TSA passes that charge along to the airlines.

Now, as to the overpacking issue. I think suitcases are gaseous. They will expand to fit the allowable space. All you have to do is take a look at what people cram into a carryon to understand that issue. So because US-based airlines give us 50/70lbs per bag x2 - Americans will fill that space because they have no market reason to pack lighter.
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kiwiandrew

RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting ANother (Reply 19):
This comes from the US CAB (anybody remember them) investigation brought on by a Miami lawyer who had too much time on his hands. This happened in the 70s and after months of investigation the CAB determined that 'cube' was more important than 'weight'. Any maximum weight could only be for safety issues (staff injuries etc). They directed all airlines to change their tarffs to reflect the size of acceptable baggage and number of pieces (which could differ by class of service).

thanks ANother ... that is the first time I have ever seen an answer to this question ... as you say , people normally focus on why they want or dont want the current rules ... but no-one ( up until now ) has been able to tell us why the rules are different for North America .
 
citationjet
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:30 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 11):
if I am correct most Americans take ridiculously short vacations (I am sure that I read somewhere the legal minimum vacation an employer has to offer is only 2 weeks annually .. or am I wrong

You are correct. Americans take much shorter vacations compared to Europeans. Americans will go to Vegas for 2 or 3 days. They will travel to Hawaii for 5 or 6 nites.
As far as vacation, most companies give new employee two weeks of vacation. At my company you get 3 weeks after 5 years and 4 weeks after 10 years. I work with Germans, and I believe that they start at 6 weeks of vacation. Because many Americans only get two weeks of vacation, they tend to take two vacations at one week each.
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kiwiandrew

RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:32 am

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 26):
Because many Americans only get two weeks of vacation, they tend to take two vacations at one week each.

thanks CitationJet

that probably goes a long way towards explaining why so few Americans travel internationally as well - you just dont have the time ( that and the fact that you have a huge and massively varied country to explore at home )
 
3201
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Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 4:16 pm

RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:04 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 11):
but what do you actually take ?

I actually take very little. For many business trips to Europe (2-3 days) I don't check a bag, if I'm flying a US carrier (or LH, which politely ignores the weight of my carry-on) and take my clothes/toiletries in either a soft-sided pilot bag or a very small triple-fold garment bag, depending on what the dress code is, plus my laptop bag. For week or longer trips, I never take more than a 14"x22"x9" rolling suitcase plus the laptop bag for myself. When I fly with my family, to save space, I take even less than that, take only what will fit in *part* of the above sized suitcase (but when you open it, you'll find clothes packed very tightly in). When I take more than one pair of shoes, I always fly in the bigger/biggest pair and pack the smaller one(s).

I find that my European colleagues (and customers) come here with bigger bags than I take there, and when I take short side-trips with, say, English colleagues from England to Belgium, they take bigger bags than I do (but don't necessarily have much, if any, more stuff in them).  Smile
7 hours aint long-haul
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:07 am

@ 3201 - thanks for the info ... and that's a great signature - it always makes me laugh when I hear novice flyers complaining about having flown a 7 or 8 hour 'longhaul' flight
 
superhub
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:20 am

Quote:
it always makes me laugh when I hear novice flyers complaining about having flown a 7 or 8 hour 'longhaul' flight

Yes. I was once flying a transcon to SFO. My seatmate said to me "brace yourself, this is going to be a long flight." It really got on my nerves and I told her that I am continuing to HKG and that would take another 14 hours. Her jaws kind of dropped.
 
citationjet
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:26 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 27):
that probably goes a long way towards explaining why so few Americans travel internationally as well

I see that you are from Belgium. When my wife worked for AA, we flew first class ORD to BRU on AA. We spent about 3 days in Brussels and 3 days in Brugge. A great country, Brugge is beautiful. I never realized that the Belgiums drink so much beer, I think they out drink the Germans.
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lincoln
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:45 am

Quoting Jano (Reply 5):
This used to be the case. At least on NW. And my guess is others followed.

It was 2x 70lb, then 2x 70 lb for elites only, now it's 2x 50lb only with some exceptions. See http://www.nwa.com/travel/luggage/ch....html

Continental, at least, is 2 x 50 pounds for non-onePass members, but unless they've changed their Contract of Carriage recently the allowance is 2 x 70 for OnePass members. (Note that its 2 x 70 for OnePass members, not 2 x 70 for elite OnePass Members,)

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 11):
I am sure that I read somewhere the legal minimum vacation an employer has to offer is only 2 weeks annually .. or am I wrong ?)

There isn't a minimum vacation in the US. The employer is free to award as little or as much vacation time (if any) as they wish and (in the absence of something like union interference) doesn't even necessarially have to have any rhyme or reason.

For example, my previous job (with a University in California) I technically received no vacation [I wound up with about a week and a half a year from compensatory time]; my new job, I have a minimum of two weeks per calendar year and my boss (and the owner of the company) is great about giving me extra days for no real reason.

As an interesting factoid, the treatment of vacation time varies from state-to-state... In California, vacation time is an "earned benefit" and you must either be allowed to roll unused time forward [My dad, at one time, had 40+ weeks from several years of not taking any vacation time at all], or you must be paid the cash value* of the time if you can't roll it forward or if you are fired/quit before taking it; in Ohio, that distinction hasn't been made as far as I can tell and, like sick leave, is "Use it or lose it" unless the employer voluntarially allows you to roll it forward.

Lincoln
* - Say you make $1000 a week, the cash value of a week of vacation (before taxes) would be $1000; alternatively, if you have 40 hours (one week for normal US full-time employment) of vacation time and make $26/hour, the cash value of that time would be $1040
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777ER
Crew
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:11 am

I always thought it was 2 bags with a combined max weight of 30kgs, but its not......sweet. That will help me heaps when I depart for Michigan and then Canada in June for four months and when I come back. Are the Domestic US flights the same?
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thepilot730
Posts: 72
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:31 pm

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 32):



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 32):
Continental, at least, is 2 x 50 pounds for non-onePass members, but unless they've changed their Contract of Carriage recently the allowance is 2 x 70 for OnePass members. (Note that its 2 x 70 for OnePass members, not 2 x 70 for elite OnePass Members,)

This has changed. I am a One Pass Member and I recently traveled from PEK to JAX via EWR and had to pay $25USD in PEK because I was overweight by 5 lbs. CO has changed their weight restrictions. It is now 2 bags @ 50lbs each and one carry on.

Time are a hard! Got to make money for that fuel!
 
lincoln
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:50 pm

Quoting Thepilot730 (Reply 34):
This has changed. I am a One Pass Member and I recently traveled from PEK to JAX via EWR and had to pay $25USD in PEK because I was overweight by 5 lbs. CO has changed their weight restrictions. It is now 2 bags @ 50lbs each and one carry on.

I looked at CO's Contract of carriage again, and this has indeed been revised to include the word "elite"... Appologies to anyone mislead by my earlier information.

Out of curiosity, did the agent allow you the opportunity to move weight to another bag or your carryon? On my second CO flight I had an agent flip out on me because my (one) checked bag weighed in at 50.2 pounds (yes, five zero point two pounds) and didn't seem too happy when I interrupted her ranting about overweight bags and that the fee would be $50 to ask if I could just move a few items to my laptop case. (The follow up from this incident is one of the reasons CO went from an airline I had never flown on to my preferred/highest mileage airline in less than a year)*

Lincoln
* [No, no cash/vouncher/poorly written form letter--just a very appologetic (and sincere sounding) telephone call from someone in "Mr. Kellner's Office"]
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
b6sea
Posts: 348
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:21 pm

Quoting 777ER (Reply 33):
Are the Domestic US flights the same?

Yes, the Most (the majors at least) have very standard rules about baggage I know that most are two 50lb bags (total 100lbs) and 70lbs for oversize (skis...etc) luggage, although most airlines are cool about going 2-5lbs over. story: when we flew QX(Horizon) SEA to SUN (Sun Valley, ID) my dad and I probably had our bags at 60 or 70lbs each with ski boots and such and the lady at the counter was very nice and said next time bring two bags and then not another word, so maybe not all airlines are bad about the whole limit either.

And to answer why do americans pack so much, I know that when I'm packing i usually pack fully my suitcase w/o even realizing it. I think during July when I went to Europe for two weeks, since I wasnt doing any laundry, I brought something like 16 or 17 changes of clothes and that probably was about two 30lb bags each...or more.

-Chans
 
deltagator
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:30 pm

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 26):
You are correct. Americans take much shorter vacations compared to Europeans. Americans will go to Vegas for 2 or 3 days. They will travel to Hawaii for 5 or 6 nites.
As far as vacation, most companies give new employee two weeks of vacation. At my company you get 3 weeks after 5 years and 4 weeks after 10 years. I work with Germans, and I believe that they start at 6 weeks of vacation. Because many Americans only get two weeks of vacation, they tend to take two vacations at one week each.

Actually there is no law that requires any company to give you any vacation that I can think of. (Perhaps out in Pelosi-Land out in SFO) I get 4 weeks of vacation but the tough thing for me is to actually take it. I try to take the last two weeks of the year off and take the other two and help my father with his vineyard. Well, that's at least the plan for this year.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 27):
Quoting CitationJet (Reply 26):
Because many Americans only get two weeks of vacation, they tend to take two vacations at one week each.

thanks CitationJet

that probably goes a long way towards explaining why so few Americans travel internationally as well - you just dont have the time ( that and the fact that you have a huge and massively varied country to explore at home )

I think something related to that is the distance we have to travel to get to some of the places you Europeans can get in a day. We are almost always relegated to a two day trip to get somewhere in Europe with a connection in LHR, CDG, or AMS by getting there in the morning and taking the connection getting you there in the afternoon.

Getting to Asia is even worse. I'm looking at taking the little lady to Austrailia next year on SQ (using DL miles) and we would lose two days getting to SIN and then another day getting to SYD. Luckily the way home goes a bit quicker with that date line there to save us.

And you are right about the US. We have plenty of neat stuff to explorer here. Come visit us and don't let the Border Patrol/Customs folks get you down. Unless you are a terrorist...then get the hell out!
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
aukahkay
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:06 pm

Quoting Warszawa (Reply 23):
On the way back we had a problem. Since we booked *SEPERATE* itineraries, in RZE they were like "Uh, all 4 of these checked baggage weigh 70 pounds, we allow maximum 20kg per bag".

Warszawa's experience reminded me of my own personal experience in November 2003. I travelled SIN-EWR-BOS on SQ/CO to attend a course in Boston. Since I had flown across the world, I decided to stop over in New York City on my return trip for a couple of days. When I checked in for the domestic flight from BOS-EWR, the CO check-in lady told me that my luggage was 60lbs and that the baggage limit per piece for domestic flights was 50 lbs. I was given two options: First option: To purchase another suitcase at the airport and re-pack into two suitcases of approximately 30 lbs each. Second option: To pay an excess baggage surcharge of US$25. I explained to her that I had travelled from Singapore to Boston via Newark but she was still adamant that I could not check in a 60 lb luggage without paying excess luggage.
I opted for the second option because I did not have much time left to re-pack the luggage.

I learned from this episode that even though my entire trip SIN-EWR-BOS/BOS-EWR/JFK-SIN was booked under the same itinerary, different luggage restrictions applied when flying domestic. Two pieces of luggage weighing 30 lbs was permissible but not one piece of luggage weighing 60 lbs.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:14 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 37):
I think something related to that is the distance we have to travel to get to some of the places you Europeans can get in a day. We are almost always relegated to a two day trip to get somewhere in Europe with a connection in LHR, CDG, or AMS by getting there in the morning and taking the connection getting you there in the afternoon.

sorry DeltaGator , that excuse doesn't carry much weight with me , I'm a Kiwi .... you wanna try getting to Europe from New Zealand - usually around 28 hours flying , and two changes of plane , plus a few hours of ground time depending on where you are going
 Big grin
 
soups
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:13 am

Quoting SK601 (Reply 22):
r example last year pax travelling from ACC were allowed 30 kgs because of xx-years of KL service to Ghana

its 2 pieces of luggage to ACC now. the offer you offer you suggested of xx years was i think 380$ ANYwhere in the world economy and $1380 business to celebrate 38 years in Ghana... i think i got the figures correct
Next destinations, Suarabaya, beirut, paris, Accra
 
iairallie
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:25 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 11):
the legal minimum vacation an employer has to offer is only 2 weeks annually

Federally at least there is no "legal minimum vacation" in the USA. Employers do not have to offer any vacation at all. Most do of course to be competitive to prospective employees. At my current company we start with 2 weeks and top out at 1 and a half months. We also get paid sick time.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
ltbewr
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:37 am

I would suggest that the higher limits for USA flights has in part to do with the history of higher overall economic conditions of Americans who fly and airlines trying to keep their pax happy.
We can afford more clothes, a wider range of clothes (dress, casual) or we don't want to waste time either washing or clothes or getting them washed on vacation. In other parts of the world, people have less clothing due to it's much higher price in comparision to the incomes of Americans, they are more willing to either wash their clothes on their own or send them out and they may be more willing to wear clothes for a 2nd or 3rd day.
You also have the distances invoved in the USA that encouages them to make sure they have everything or to bring with them or back with them from places they visit. As to foreign flights (especially outer than Western Europe) you have people bringing items that are a lot cheaper or unavailable in the other country or bringing items to less developed countries as gifts or for resale by thier relatives.
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:46 am

First of all, let me say that I too am guilty.. guilty of packing my suitcase like I'm never gonna make it back.

Cause u never know what's going to happen. the weather could change. a surpise could pop up. you may get stuck at your destination another night. and generally you don't do laundry on a vacation/trip so you have to bring clean clothes. And 9 time sout of 10, Americans do tend to change clothes at least 2 times a day.. the daily clothes and the night clothes. Cause you can't go out to the club or to dinner or visiting at night wearing the same clothes you wear during the day. Ewww.. And you have to bring all your necessary preparatory equipment with you when you travel.. weather it's your own hairdryer, curling irons, facial products, shampoo, razor, clippers, bag of make-up, bag of cologne.. it's sooo much stuff you have to take into consideration..

As far as vacation goes.. EVERY American KNOWS that Europeans gets a boat load of vacation. And as a general rule, we Americans get pissed and jealous of that. When we find a job that starts with 3 weeks vacation, we have truely hit the jackpot. Or if we can find a job that will offers 2 weeks vacation, personal time off, AND sick time that's more than 5 days.. oh we are ESTATIC! And don't let the job offer REAL holidays.. OMG.. we are NEVER leaving.. But even EU companies who have subsidiaries in the US do not follow their EU standards. Bayer is German, but do Bayer employees start wtih 6 weeks vacation? Oh hell no (I used to work for them in QA)! Double standards..

But here in the good ole U-S-of-A, employers here still believe in the neo-slavery mentality.. which is to work your employees as much as you can.. and then wonder why your turnover rate is so high.. and with the fact that there is ALWAYS someone moving into the country/state/city.. there will always be some sort of workers available..
Aiming High and going far..
 
commavia
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:47 am

Generally, I think it's because of enforcement and consumer expectations. In the U.S., nobody (including agents) generally cares about the bags.

Essentially, as long as you're not trying to stuff a refrigerator or skis into the overhead bin as carry on, the agents and the FAs really don't care what you bring, as you're the one carting it around, not them. Now, granted, they're are exceptions, like stickler ticket agents who meticulously weigh each bag at check in, and very full, oversold flights when the last few people on in coach might as well just leave their bag at the front door for gate checking before they even come down the aisle, but I think that generally, no one cares in the U.S. about bag size.

A personal example: I recently flew DFW-LGW on AA's 777s. I had a small bag, but the person I was traveling with had a rather large bag that would definitely fit in the overhead bin, but that looked pretty sizeable. At AA check-in at D/FW in Dallas, and later at the gate for the flight, neither agent even looked at the bag. It didn't even cross their minds.

Now, fast-forward one week to the return LGW-DFW. At Gatwick, the agent scrutinized the bag for over five minutes, had us place it in a bag-sizer, weighed it, and even picked it up herself to ensure that it was, indeed, not too big to fit in an overhead bin. She finally let my friend take the bag on, but only after a very close inspection.

And that has been my experience when departing from just about any city throughout Europe and, generally speaking, the rest of the world outside the U.S. -- they take the bag limits much more seriously, and they are much stricter with enforcement.
 
SA7700
Posts: 2940
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:38 pm

RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:49 am

SA's weight concept for domestic and international services are:

First-40kg
Business-30kg
Economy-20kg

Voyager Elite Members are entitled to additional baggage allowances:

Silver-10kg
Gold-20kg
Platinum-30kg


The piece concept are applicable on the following destinations:

-Transportation originating between Africa and the USA/Canada
-Between South Africa, WDH, MPM, LAD, HRE, ABJ, ACC and South America (Applicable on SA/RG only)
-Between South America and HKG via South Africa (SA only)
-Between India and Brazil via South Africa (SA only)

Two pieces allowed. Max weight of 32kg (70lb) per piece allowed.



Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
airbazar
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:08 am

Simply put, fuel is cheap in the US regardless of all the wining that airlines and everyone else likes to do when it comes to fuel prices. Energy waste is too deeply entrenched in US society: gas guzling cars, poorly insulated homes, office building with lights on all night, etc... So it's only natural that that sort of waste carries on to airline policies. One 20Kg suitecase per person is more than enough for the average trip and airlines could save a bunddle on fuel if they adoped such measure but they won't. Instead they'll just come up with extra fuel surcharges rather than actually saving fuel.
 
9252fly
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RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:38 am

I personally never take more than a carryon bag with me. I try to keep it within the limits of the airline I'm traveling with. For example,I recently flew LHR-JNB on SA. Whilst I was checking in,my bag was weighed. It weighed the maximum,which was 7 Kg(15 lbs). The point I'm trying to make is,that it's possible to travel for a month with just a carry on bag packed with well thought out and versatile clothing. It's impossible to plan for every eventuality,so when something occurs that was unexpected,I just buy what I need and consider tossing the purchase when I'm finished with it. I had a couple of friends try it on a trip to Turkey(10 days)and they were shocked how well the system works. I for the life of me will never understand why people feel the need to take all their useless(generalization)crap with them.
 
SA7700
Posts: 2940
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 9:38 pm

RE: Why Do US Flights Get More Baggage Allowance?

Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:14 am

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 47):
The point I'm trying to make is,that it's possible to travel for a month with just a carry on bag packed with well thought out and versatile clothing.

That would absolutely depend on what you are planning to do during your travels. A night at the opera or some fancy dress dinner will pretty much ruin the 7kg concept.

Personally the longest that I have been able to survive on my 7kg carry-on, was an entire Easter weekend. This past November/December I was privileged enough to travel through Australia and the USA for ±25 days. When I left JNB, my checked luggage was 20kg exactly - I genuinely needed and used everything I packed. When I checked in at IAD for my trip home, my luggage weighed 50kg. What can I say, CD's and DVD's are far cheaper in the USA and Australia. Big grin


Rgds

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)

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