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    Airline Baggage Rules to Know

    Airline Baggage Rules
    Image by by ddonar (http://www.flickr.com/photos/donar/)

    When you have to make a trip to the airport,you want to be as prepared as possible.  Knowing everything you can about airline baggage rules will help your trip be more enjoyable.

    Though you may love to pack as if you’re traveling for a month when in fact you’re only traveling for a week), you must keep in mind that the heavier your luggage, the more you will have to pay.

    The general cost to check one bag under 50 lbs. at the airport is $25.  If you have a second bag, it will be an additional $35 to $125 for any extra up to 9. (This can vary.)  If your bag weighs between 51-70 pounds, it could cost $90 or more.

    You are allowed to carry on one bag and one personal item, such as a briefcase, purse, or laptop bag.  These ought to be under 45 inches and under 40 lbs.

    Before you get onto your plane, you will have to go through security.  Your baggage that you checked will go through security at a separate site. You and your carry-on bags will make the trip through security lane.  There are a few things you should know both about your checked and carry-on baggage regarding what items you are allowed to pack.

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has plenty of rules and regulations for baggage.  I will share some of the more common items that people wonder about here, but if you want a thorough listing of items, visit the TSA website.

    Regarding your checked baggage, absolutely none of these items are allowed:  any type of flammable liquid, oxygen tanks, tear gas, matches, bleach, pool chemicals, pesticides, rodent poisons, cyanides, medical specimens, car batteries, mercury, strong magnets, and spray paint.

    Here is a list of some common items that the TSA does allow in checked baggage.  Sporting goods such as bats, hockey sticks, bows and arrows, ski poles, golf clubs, and pool cues.  Knives of all sorts are allowed, martial art weapons. Cutting instruments such as carpet knives and box cutters, scissors larger than four inches (less than that are allowed in cabin).  Firearms that are allowed are pistols, flare guns, BB guns, and rifles (unloaded). If you have ammunition, it has to be packed in fiber, wood, or metal boxes. Also allowed are paintball guns, tools greater than 7 inches long, and power tools such as drills. Note that shorter tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers may go into your carry-on baggage.

    Regarding your carry-on baggage, there are certain items allowed.  Use your judgment here, as you probably want to put anything that is valuable to you in your carry-on.  Here are some common items people include in their carry-on baggage:  Cash, jewelry, cell phones, cameras, portable electronic devices, financial documents, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, keys, passports, and laptops.

    Note that if you have a laptop computer, you will have to remove the laptop from its case at security to be inspected.  Since laptops are expensive and normally have a lot of information in them, it is advisable that you include your laptop in your carry-on baggage to protect it.

    There are some common items that are NOT allowed in your carry-on baggage (including all the things that are not allowed in your checked baggage.)  Here is a list of some:  full water bottles, box cutters, razor blades (disposable razors are permitted), gel candles, gel shoe inserts, knives greater than 4 inches, and aerosols (except for personal care).

    These lists are not exclusive so if you have any questions about an item that you want to take with you in checked or carry-on baggage, visit the TSA website for a more exhaustive list. http://www.tsa.gov/

    This article is by Dominique Rodriguez.  Dominique is a frequent flyer and knows flying can be stressful.  With all the baggage rules, it’s hard to know what you can and can’t pack.  Even if your baggage makes it on the plane, sometime they get lost.  Travelers should consider baggage insurance credit cards to help reimburse them in the event your baggage gets lost.

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