Friday, August 3, 2012


The first time that I felt that Baggage Allowance was important was when I was in Dubai in 2007 and during the check-in at Cathay Pacific for a Dubai-Manila flight, my cousin was unloading some of her things just so the baggage wouldn't go over 30 kilos.
The allowed check-in baggage is 20 kilos per person and since they were three of them, they were allowed 60 kilos. However, none of the baggages should go over 30 kilos per person.
Excess baggage fee for this route is USD 8/kilo. 
Another guy came with a large "balikbayan" kind of box and so he had to pay an extra USD200.00 for the excess.

I was surprised at how strict Cathay Pacific (manned by Filipinos) was, but then considering Filipinos, who love huge baggages, maybe they were right in doing so.

I was comparing this when we checked in through Emirates also for the Dubai-Manila flight, wherein the Dubai local who was at check-in didn't really mind the baggage limits. Well, I can't say how strict Emirates is with baggage these days.

Philippine Airlines is also very strict with the baggage allowance. Beware of the present base allowance which is only 15 kgs. An additional 10 kgs. is given if you are an Elite Mabuhay Miles member.
For local flights, the excess baggage is P150.00 + 12%VAT.
For international flights in Asia, the excess baggage is USD 10.00 per kilo!

Philippine Airlines was very strict with the cabin baggage in the San Francisco-Manila flight since they only wanted two pieces. Me with my big bag, laptop bag and camera bag really had a dilemma!
To make the most of the baggage from the US, many use the balikbayan boxes. 
Just make sure, that this comes home intact. One friend lost 18 pounds in her box and my other friend lost all the branded shirts, bags and perfumes she got from the Labor Day sale in the US! She pointed out that they didn't mind the shirts that came from discount stores. In fact, she found small shorts which she didn't buy - - therefore, were there other boxes opened? 
Don't know who to blame for the loss in two of my friends' balikbayan boxes, because it was taped back as if not opened - - must be experts, huh!
I do hope the system changes or else Dishonesty would stick in the minds of the nationals and the tourists everytime they step on Philippine soil!

For other US carriers, the internet is so important for the baggage limits - - some have the 20 kilo limit, others a 25 kilo limit and others give you a 2-bag limit whatever the weight!
Lots of shuffling happens when you have lots of domestic flights.

The time, I felt that the flight carriers were so considerate was when I was on the Singapore Airline flight from Manila-Singapore and also on the transit on the Silk Air flight from Penang-Singapore. I know, I went over the baggage limit of 20 kilos (for economy) but I think that they gave another 20 kilos just because I signed in online at the Krisflyer Frequent Flyer program at the Singapore Airlines website.

The same way with Thai Airways. Just because I signed in at the Royal Orchid Frequent Flyer Program website a few days before leaving, I was able to be checked in online (1) and this is very helpful for a breezy check-in. The baggage allowance for economy is 20 kgs. plus an additional 10 kgs. for the Royal Orchid rewards. Excess baggage is USD119 for an additional 10 kgs.
What was most interesting for me was my Alitalia trip from Rome to Paris! Their baggage allowance is 2 bags = 23 kgs. each! I also checked in their Mille Miglia rewards but I dont know if that mattered.
So for the next leg from Paris to Bangkok through Thai Airways, which was not of the same alliance, the allowance was 30 kgs. I couldn't shuffle my bags anymore. I had to carry an additional 15 kgs. by hand-carry!
Check online for the individual baggage policy per airline.
Even Cebu Pacific (depends on what you chose and Air Philippines (watch out it is only 10 kilos) have very high excess baggage fees!

Well, inasmuch as everyone says "Travel Light!", I think only the guys can do this!

Well, just be prepared if you travel heavy... the fees are also heavy!!!



  1. Then, I would also have a problem... I am not a light traveler.

  2. KLM is strictly 23 kilos and baggage overweight is about 110 euro! The machine which accepts the baggage is automated, so do not attempt any excess baggage!

  3. i just had an experience with klm for the first time and they were not strict with the hand carries.

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