Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
Lu

How to bring way too much stuff in your airplane luggage

Recommended Posts

Lu

As inspired by the thread on bedding and whether to bring it from home.

 

Weighing luggage can be done on a regular bathroom scale, the kind you also use to find out what you weigh yourself. If you're staying in a nice hotel, it may have such scales at the gym. You can also try a post office. At the airport, you can trial-weigh your suitcase at an unused check-in counter.

 

Hand luggage is usually not weighed, but it does occasionally happen. It can be very useful to stuff all the heavy things in your hand luggage, so that you have a 23 kg suitcase and a 20 kg backpack. But again, it doesn't always work, they sometimes do weigh it. If there is someone seeing you off, leave your bulky hand luggage with them and go to the check-in counter with just your check-in luggage and a purse or whatever. If they don't see your big backpack, they won't weigh it there. Use an innocent-looking bag - such as one of those shiny paper bags with rope handles or a bag you get at the tax free shop - to carry heavy things. They don't look like they would be heavy, but especially the paper bags hold up really well.

 

Put things in your pockets, because they won't weigh you. Wear a coat with large pockets for this.

 

If you are just a little bit over the weight limit (1-2 kg), being polite and puppy-eyed can help. 'Pleeeaase, I'm a translator of Chinese literature, I only get one chance a year to buy books and that's why my luggage is so heavy...' or 'Pleeeaaase, I'm moving to China to study for a whole year and I just really need all this...'

 

If you anticipate being well over the weight limit, buy an extra suitcase and pay for the extra check-in luggage. It's usually (in my experience at least) only about 50-100 euros for another 23 kilos. You pay a lot more for one overweighed suitcase than for two regular ones.

 

These are my tips, accumulated over several years of moving to and from Asia and buying large amounts of books while there. I hope they are useful to someone.

  • Helpful 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

mungouk

Helpful post!

In my experience whether they try to hit you for extra money depends on a lot of things, including: are you on the frequent flyer programme, is the flight full, are you travelling alone etc.

 

If you know before you travel that you will be well over the limit then buy the extra allowance on-line in advance (before/during online checking) because it will be much cheaper. 

 

42 minutes ago, Lu said:

Put things in your pockets,

 

This is a great last resort (and I've used it myself often!)... even if you're entering/leaving a hot location, put on a jacket/coat and fill the pockets.  After you've checked in and entered the security section (metal detectors and x-ray machines) nobody cares about the weight, they're just looking for knives and bombs, so you can put everything back into your carry-on luggage without worrying.

 

 

42 minutes ago, Lu said:

being polite and puppy-eyed can help.

 

Possibly works better for females than males... :)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

 

(Please ignore: somehow got double-posted so I'm deleting...)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

I do carry-on, usually budget airlines, and the problem isn't weight, it's meeting stringent size limits. So roll everything up and compress it down tightly wrapped with cord. Easier if clothes are slightly damp.

 

You can also use vacuum storage bags for this:

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/IPOW-Vacuum-Storage-Bags-8-Roll-up-2-Compression-Bags-Spacesaver-Vacuum-Storage-Bags-Clothes-Pillow-Travel-Organizer-Vacuum-Compressed-Storage-Bag/172075414

 

Still, the best way to deal with too much stuff is to take only half of it, always bearing in mind that just about anything you really need will be available somewhere at your destination. (And somehow, after you arrive at your destination you'll discover you didn't really need all that stuff after all.)

 

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DavyJonesLocker

British Airways in London run exclusively out of terminal 5 and they have automatic check-in desks. The bag can't be even 1g over the 20kg limit of the machine won't print out the boarding pass. The is usual only one or two staff there but they can't override the machines. I've been caught twice on this one.

 

In any case I think we all realistically bring to much for the "just in case " scenario. That's a while to get out out of that  mindset  but you really can get most things here. In any cases

 the more you bring the more you have to carry back home when you leave as you will inevitably be buying things during your time in China.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
vellocet

Using the bathroom scale can be problematic as it's designed to weigh things standing on two feet.  To get around this, weigh yourself, then step on the scale holding your bag, then subtract your weight from the total.

 

This is also how you weigh a cat.

 

Or, just buy a luggage scale, they're cheap and tiny and stow away in your bag easily.  I have gotten compliments from gate agents before on how close I got to the limit.  "49.3 pounds...and 49.8 pounds.  Wow, good job."

  • Like 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
36 minutes ago, vellocet said:

Or, just buy a luggage scale

This.  This is 100% the best option for weighing luggage.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mackie1402

When I spoke with Virgin check-in, they said the limit is 23kg, but they only charge after 25kg. In fact, you'll notice some of the scales at the check-in desk start in the negative. That's to give you a bit of leeway. 

 

Virgin also allows you to bring a backpack or handbag. In fact a lot of airlines have a section on their website where they state what you can bring that doesn't get counted towards your luggage and hand luggage weight, such as books, camera, headphones etc.

 

I usually check in a case, max out my hand luggage, then have a big backpack with my laptop, camera, headphones and bits n bobs for flying. Then, once I get through security I can get some food and drink from the shops to put in my backpack. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian US

For work last minute, I had to add to my international flight coming into Shanghai with a domestic flight to Guangzhou. I just bought the extra ticket since it was cheaper than changing my original, which I believe puts you at risk if your original flight is delayed (especially if you are dealing with another airline).

 

Another down-side to this is you don't receive the 2 free checked bags like international, and I was now technically on a separate domestic flight with only 1 free checked bag. Being around 10kgs over the limit, and not wanting to pay the extra 100-150rmb they requested, I stubbornly started transferring all the weight to my carry-ons. This was China Eastern, and they eventually let me slide a few kgs over weight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk
1 hour ago, Brian US said:

Being around 10kgs over the limit, and not wanting to pay the extra 100-150rmb

 

150 RMB for 10kg sounds like a bargain!  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mackie1402
1 minute ago, mungouk said:
2 hours ago, Brian US said:

Being around 10kgs over the limit, and not wanting to pay the extra 100-150rmb

 

150 RMB for 10kg sounds like a bargain!  

 

Wow, yeah! Just comparing that to Cathay Pacific below. Their prices range from 13USD to 45USD per kg! 

 

I used to try a few different airlines, and thought Cathay was the cheapest, but when it comes to bringing extra luggage I always go with Virgin Premium economy now. Can usually pick up a good deal, priority boarding, but most importantly you get 2 luggage cases in your allowance. I think China Eastern/Southern (can't remember which one) also offers two luggage cases of 23kg for economy, too.

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 14.13.40.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian US

The sad part is I could have easily expensed it, but in my head at the time was that my ticket already included 2 bags. I didn't put it together until afterward, that was a result of buying the tickets separately.

 

The stress of traveling puts me on-guard, especially when cab drivers charge extra when they figure you are in a rush (or won't notice). My favorite was just getting into Naples, and the cab driver said it was his first day, I had to restrain myself from verbally saying "bullshit" and was prepared when he tried to overcharge me 15 Euros.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...