An increasing number of airlines, especially low-cost carriers, have started charging exorbitant overweight luggage fees. Even the “full service” airlines are charging more – for example, Delta charges $175 each way for bags weighing more than 70 lbs on US domestic flights.
Passengers can try to avoid the excess weight baggage fees by following certain precautions and practices. Also, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the baggage rules and policies of the airlines with which you will be flying.
This is especially applicable for international flights, as weight limits vary round the world and are often different for domestic and international flights.
Using lightweight bags and carrying two small bags instead of a large one are an easy way to adequately use your baggage limit. Often the fee for a second checked bag is much less than the overweight fee.
Travelers can also use portable baggage scales, or even luggage with an in-built overweight indication, to avoid crossing the baggage weight limit.
As a last resort, stuff heavy items in your your pockets and wear sweaters and coats on-board the aircraft. Heavy shoes are good candidates for items that can be worn while traveling to reduce baggage weight.