Dealing with Excess Baggage on Air Travel

For me, shopping is still the best part and my most anticipated activity when travelling out of town and out of the country via Air Travel. I still like to buy Butterscotch in Iloilo even with only savings of P10/pack vs. buying it in Marquee Mall Gaisano Supermarket. Or buying fruits or fish in Cagayan de Oro, only to experience an excess baggage and to be charged around P100/kg. More challenging is when travelling with one’s child, either toddler or pre-schooler, when they can’t really carry their own hand carry luggage and almost half of your baggage allowance is eaten up for their things, food and other items. Let me walk you through the reality of Airline Baggage Allowance.

Things to Consider & to Remember:
  • Travelling with infant is normally free of charge or with a minimal percentage of the fare. If it’s free, it means no baggage allowance for the baby. 
  •  Travelling with a toddler, past 2 years of age, the airlines will charge a percentage of the fare, and you get a corresponding baggage allowance. 
  • For PAL (Philippine Airlines), via fiesta class, one can either get a regular fare with 20 kg. free baggage, or if via Econolight, a paying passenger gets only 15kg.
  • For most airlines, they allow hand carry of 7kg.
  • Here is where it gets tricky…so far, for my previous 3 round trip PAL travels, both local and out of the

    country trip, they really do check & weigh one’s hand carried items so they can be given an orange tag. They don’t allow combined items for hand carry…like mine & Chase’s, they required me to have two separate hand carried bags instead of having one. For the 2nd time I experienced it, I actually had to transfer 3kg. to another bag or if you have still available check-in baggage allowance, you have to check it in. But since, we normally use up all the baggage allowance, we have to use our hand-carry allowance wisely.
  • For out of the country, for PAL, they allow one passenger to have maximum 2 checked-in item with 50lbs. maximum weight per item. This is also the same in local airlines in the US, like South West Airlines. Again, you cannot combine the 100lbs.! 
  • If travelling by group tours, please check ahead of time if they will allow combined check-in baggage. 
  • Again, for a family of three  like ours, PAL local travel, cannot combined hand carry baggage allowance. For Check-in Baggage, they allow combined allowance. Either we get 3X20Kg = 60Kg or 3X15Kg=45Kg.
  • For PAL US Travel, they don’t allow combined check-in baggage allowance, strictly per item should be at most 50lbs!

So how to maximize baggage allowance for hand-carry and check in?
Here are some few tips:
  • Make sure you are aware of the baggage allowance corresponding one’s fare rate if you don’t want to pay excess baggage which cost around P105/kilo. 
  • For hand carry, a small luggage trolley, like a Samsonite or Delsey, weighs almost 3 kgs. Remember, especially on full flight and peak season, they are strict of the 7kg. hand carry allowance. Now, I really discouraged having it as your hand carry item on your flight back where we usually have our bags full. If you are with a toddler or pre-schooler, divide your hand carry on two bags, one can be a make-shift bag, meaning a foldaway duffel bag or a backpack. After getting the orange tag (for PAL), and one’s inside the pre-departure area, you can put your items back in your one luggage.You don’t want to have to many bags to hold and to look out for. 
  • If you are anticipating excess baggage, you can consider both PAL and Cebu Pacific’s Cargo Services, the rate is around P35/Kg. Savings! If you will do this, make sure you know the flight time of the airline, since you have to have your cargo items “checked-in” at least 3 hours before the flight departure time. If PAL to PAL, meaning you are taking PAL flight and would also want to avail PAL Cargo, you have to visit the Cargo Office first! 
  • For International, US, I wouldn’t even want to risk it because an excess baggage of 3kg. has an outrageous rate around a $100! If it cannot be avoided, you can consider sea freight, or the usual balikbayan boxes shipping, around 18 to 30 days depending on one’s location. One (1) balikbayan box (Small, Regular, Jumbo), regardless of the weight cost around $60-$80. 


  1. hello!I will be traveling with my 4yo son to HK via fiesta class (PAL).may i ask if it's allowed to combine our free baggage allowance of 15kgs + 15kgs into 30kgs?d ko na kaya magbitbit ng 2 bagahe na tig-15kgs.thanks! -ds morning


  2. Hi! I think it's okay to combine checked in baggage allowance for PAL with Asian cities. It's been a while since we went out, so I'm not too sure about the changes if there are. But for local hand carried items, with the 7kg allowance, they're a bit strict.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: