I’m actually sitting on an airplane now blogging via GoGo.  I’m traveling with 2 other colleagues whom I’ll spend the week with in Seattle on a project.  I’ll be there for a week, but both colleagues will actually be traveling on to Los Angeles for another week of work while I return home.

One had the misfortune to pack 57 pounds of clothing for her 2 week business trip, and was dinged by Delta for a whopping $90 dollars for the extra 7 pounds.  Frankly, I was shocked the fee was that high.  $50 dollars seems more the norm, at least that’s what I paid American back in February when returning from a cruise.

Our conversation inspired me to check the fees other airlines are currently charging for overweight baggage.  I started with American, and their fee for 51 to 70 pounds remains a far more reasonable $50 dollars, and $100 dollars is the going rate for bags in the 71 to 100 pound category.  For reference, Delta’s fee for bags between 71 and 100 pounds is a whopping $175 dollars!  Then I looked at United.  $100 dollars for bags between 51 and 70 pounds if you’re not an elite customer.  (Note: I like that UA elites get a 70 pound per bag allowance.)  Continental charges $50 dollars for a bag weighing 51 to 70 pounds.  Continental does not accept baggage weighing more than 70 pounds.  In contrast to these airlines and in keeping with its history of simple and easy to understand policies, Southwest charges $50 dollars per piece for baggage weighing between 51 and 100 pounds.

The meaning of all this?  Learn to pack more efficiently.  I can handle a 5 day business trip with nothing but my 21″ Samsonite roller.  It takes a little practice, but its well worth your time and money.  And remember, it’s not a sin to do a little laundry on the road from time to time.  It’s certainly cheaper to do that than pay $100 bucks for your extra 7 pounds of clothes.