Monday, March 10, 2008

Allowable Weight Limits

The latest thing to give me a stress spike in preparing for this trip has to do with baggage. Please see below for a quick picture of my mini-mountain of gear. Bad for me, this pile still does not include several items yet to be added:

So here we are, six days from the depart date and I'm now beginning to see airline weight restrictions pop up in a way similar to a person peeling the skin off their face in some B-Grade horror flick. Great. Time to get creative.

For my flights on United Airlines, I'll be allowed to work in pounds and have tons of flexibility: three pieces, 70 pounds per bag from Seattle->Shanghai and from Singapore back home.

For intra-Asia trips, Thai Airways allows 40kg of free baggage allowance for Star Alliance Gold members. Once you sky past that, it starts to cost you, at 0.15% of a one-way full fare ticket per kg. When you add up the costs of my flights, it comes to approximately 10.00 USD per kilogram.. or approximately 2lbs. Perhaps Leonard can add in a comment below on the specific translation of lbs-kilos if I'm wrong, which I'm sure I am. All I'm using as my basis of weights are the numbers plastered on the side of weights in the gym where a 45lb plate = 20.1kgs.

By-far, the largest excess baggage whomping I'm expecting will come on the short Shanghai->Bangkok China Eastern leg. On that airline I can ONLY check in 20kg for free. If you are lucky, they won’t charge you for an extra 5 to 10kg… but that’s totally up to the check-in agent.

So for all of my flights, I'm weighing down my carry-on with all of my heavy gear- as in laptops, electronics, and thick metal climbing items. Throw in my Sour Patch Kid bags there too- those are dense! Then again for China Eastern, I'm gonna put on a sparkly smile and see if I can't charm them. Maybe some would say this is me using people. I see it more as preserving money that can be spent more effectively elsewhere. Otherwise I'll be paying through the yanger, which American Express will be thrilled with.

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