Mail extra airplane baggage, save money

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

Harpersville Postmaster Greg Watts said he could save airplane passengers significant amounts of money by shipping luggage via the postal service rather than paying airline extra-bag costs.

“A lot of airlines charge for extra bags.” Watts said. “You can send (luggage) home or you can send it to your hotel.”

Watts said that he can ship a 25 pound suitcase, no box necessary, across the nation for as little as $51. Therefore, assuming the particular airline charges $125 for a third checked bag, which is common, the savings equal $74.

“It doesn’t have to be a suitcase,” Watts said. “Guys from Iraq ship Army and military trunks from here all the time. People think you need a box, but you don’t. You can just put a lock on your suitcase and ship the suitcase.”

The U.S. Post Office also offers flat-rate priority mail envelopes and boxes. These containers are shipped at one flat rate of $15 for a large, 12-inch by 12-inch box, as long as the weight is less than 70 pounds and shipped to a domestic address.

“I’ve known people who send things home in a flat box,” Watts said. “My mom sent all her dirty clothes home from Miami.

“It’s a way to save money,” Watts said. “It can be stuff you can send home, if you buy a bunch of stuff when you’re on vacation.”

According to their respective websites, airlines charge as follows for additional bags traveling within the United States:

-Delta Airlines:

For checked luggage under 50 pounds:

First bag: $25

Second bag: $35

Third bag: $125

Fourth-tenth bags: $200 each

Bags weighing 51-70 pounds cost $90 extra, and bags weighing 71-100 pounds cost $175 extra.

-American Airlines:

For checked luggage under 50 pounds:

First bag: $25

Second bag: $35

Third-fifth bags: $100

Bags past six: $150 each

Checked bags from 51-70 pounds will be charged $60 per bag, and bags weighing from 71-100 pounds will be charged $100 per bag.

-Southwest Airlines:

For checked luggage under 50 pounds:

First and second bags: free

Third-ninth bags: $50 each

Overweight bags cost $50 each.

-U.S. Airways:

For checked luggage under 50 pounds:

First bag: $25

Second bag: $35

Bags past three: $125 each

Bags weighing from 51-70 pounds cost $90 each, and bags weighing 71-100 pounds cost $175 each.