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TRAVEL TUESDAY: fees for extra baggage

2009-07-21

A series of observations and tips from my recent trips to India.  Feel free to add your thoughts and experiences in the comments, as well as make suggestions for future TRAVEL TUESDAY topics.

Traveling with extra baggage in India.  On the last two trips I made, I was traveling from NY with an extended stopover in Delhi before going on to Kerala, where most of my luggage was going.  Here are some things I’ve learned.

  • If you are traveling internationally, you can generally bring two checked baggage weighing about 45 lbs. each.  If you are traveling locally in India, you can generally bring one checked baggage weighing about 25-40 lbs. (depending on individual airline).
  • If you try to book your entire trip AHEAD of time through a travel agent in the US, then they can try to get you classified as an international passenger for the duration of your time in India.  This may be more expensive, since they might have to make sure your flights are all booked on the same airline, but you then do not have to pay extra for baggage.
  • If your travel plans are up in the air, then TRY NOT to bring a ton of extra stuff.  Now this is not always possible because your parents might want you to bring 24 cans of Ensure for your dear Ammachi who is at the end stages of pancreatic cancer and you feel like you just can’t say no, or you might also be planning to bring back lots of souvenirs and clothes for your beloved sisters.
  • Some specific airlines that I flew on with my extra luggage:
    • Spice Airways – by far the best rate on extra baggage (80 Rs./kg)
    • Jet Airlines and JetLite Airlines – by far the WORST rate on baggage – 211 Rs./kg.  That is about THREE TIMES the price of Spice.  I spent hundreds of US Dollars on bringing baggage through Jet.
    • Kingfisher – 150 Rs./kg. 
  • If you have a transfer on a local flight, be prepared to pay twice.  I booked a flight from Delhi to Kerala through Bombay, and I had to pay the extra baggage fees in Delhi and in Bombay.  At the time I was pretty angry about it (particularly since one of those fees was the exorbitant Jet Airlines fees), but now I will shrug it off to, “I shouldn’t have brought so much luggage.”
  • Also a general tip about transferring locally– both times I had a stopover, I had to pick up my luggage and bring it to the new counter.  Once it was because I was flying on two different airlines, and once it was because the first part of my flight landed in the International terminal (even though it was a domestic flight, it was going on to Pakistan afterwards).  I don’t know if this is true if you are flying local to local on the same airline.
  • And just in case you haven’t paid enough already, bring extra cash because when you have extra luggage, you have to pay everyone from the porters to the cab driver who is picking up these monstrous pieces of luggage.
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. The Med Student Formerly Known As permalink
    2009-07-21 2:17 PM

    You have to deal with the same crap in the Caribbean.
    Getting to San Juan is easy enough. Taking a puddle jumper from one island to another: not so much.

  2. 2009-07-21 2:26 PM

    AWWWW— My dear Med STudent Formerly known as…. I’m so glad you’re here! Can’t wait for you to get to NY!

    • The Med Student Formerly Known As permalink
      2009-07-22 12:48 AM

      ME TOO! I am looking forward to living in NYC again!

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