How Much Do You Have To Pay If Your Luggage Is Over 50 Pounds?

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Wondering how much do you have to pay if your luggage is over 50 pounds, you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we have all the answers about your burning questions if your luggage is over 50 pounds.

Whenever we travel, we usually have an allotted budget for anything. The tighter our budget is, the stricter we are of our spending. A lot of this has to do with being afraid of getting stuck in a new location without money. That’s like being stuck in a river without a paddle.

Yet when most people think of ways to cut their budget, they almost always go the way of removing trips, limiting food budget, or even cancelling the most fun parts of the travel, which is a shame since these events are what makes a good vacation.

Rarely would people think about saving money by adjusting their travel arrangements like downgrading a seat, getting tickets in advance, opting for non-busy days, or limiting luggage fees.

Your air travel arrangement is basically your first expense towards your travel and it can set a good precedent of what to expect on your adventure.

This is basically where you need to look first when adjusting your budget. Unfortunately, airlines know this. As a result, they have created plenty different ways of charging you additional fees that you don’t even understand.

In today’s article, we are going to talk about overweight luggage fees. I know that there are plenty of other fees that’s worth talking about but this is probably the most obvious type of airline fee so I am going to focus on that. Perhaps in another article, we are going to tackle ‘convenience fees’ or whatever fees they think of charging next.

So, how much exactly do airlines charge for overweight luggage?

I know this can easily be considered a copout answer but it depends. It depends on the airline, type of travel, your status with the carrier, are you military or not, and many other things.

To make it easier, just remember the luggage limit which is set at 50 pounds. This is the universal limit for luggage bag weight for international travel. The only time I can think of that this limit vary is during a private flight or if you’re in a military (70 pounds limit).

Once you go over this limit, you would have to pay extra. And it’s not a negligible amount, too, in case you’re thinking that. Most airlines have considerable fee when it comes to overweight luggage bags.

To give you an idea, let me give you an example. Let’s go with Delta Airlines – they charge $90 for overweight luggage (51 – 70 pounds). If you go over the 70-pound limit, that jumps to $175 each trip.
That’s for each trip, too, so double that and you have a more accurate estimate.

Some airlines would be more forgiving about their limit and would allow 50.5 pounds to pass thru, no problem. I guess it also depends on the crew that’s working the shift. I’ve personally seen people throw out some of their clothes because they went 0.3 pounds over the limit.

I hate seeing people throwing out perfectly good stuff but can you blame them? A piece of clothing can’t be worth more than $90×2 unless it’s encrusted with expensive beads or something.

Suffice it to say, just to avoid the headache, you must not go over this 50-pound limit. If are willing to go pay for the additional fee, then by all means, go ahead. But you better be stuffing your bag up to the second weight limit (70 pounds in most cases) to get your money’s worth.

Can You Avoid Paying Overweight Luggage Fees?

Technically, no. Once you’ve checked in an overweight luggage, you are required to pay the overweight luggage fee.

Now, the better question would be “how can I avoid overweight luggage fees?” because there are ways you can avoid being over the limit.

I will give you some tips below but just a heads up, I won’t skip the most obvious ones like ‘weigh your luggage before you leave’ because more often than not, these are the tips we forget the most.

Let’s start.

Know The Rules Of The Carrier You’re Traveling From

Since different airline carriers will have different fees and limits on specific flights, it pays to learn of their requirements before your travel.

The universal standard for international flight is 50 pounds but the fees once you go over that is not standard. This means that you pay anywhere from $60 to $100 depending on the carrier.

It’s also important to read the rules and regulations in the country you are traveling to. Some countries will ask for a different kind of fee when you go over 30 pounds, for instance. It’s not exactly an overweight fee, per se, but it’s comparable.

As for domestic flights, the limits vary. My point is it is important to read your carrier’s guidelines with regards to your luggage limits and such.

Ultralight Weight Luggage

If you want to maximize the amount of luggage you can carry, you should definitely get an ultralight weight luggage bag. These types of luggage bags are increasingly becoming more popular because it allows you to basically pack more stuff in. Some hardcase luggage bags can go up to 12 pounds. That’s weight that you can use elsewhere.

If you browse Amazon right now, you can find plenty of ultra lightweight luggage options. I’ve seen some bags go down to 5 pounds. That’s extra 7 pounds of items you can carry.

The materials used for these bags may not be as durable as heavier bags but they offer more functionality in terms of storage space. Just be careful which brands to trust because since these are lightweight materials, they are more prone to damage that the average hard luggage.

Weigh Your Luggage Before Checking It In

This is a no-brainer. Before you go to the airport, it’s always a good idea to measure your bag to ensure they pass the limit. You don’t want to be paying extra when checking them in. Worse is if you’re just a line over and throwing out some clothes become a good option. You don’t want that to happen.

In case you don’t have a weighing scale in your house or hotel, worry not because most airlines have weighing station near each terminal.

These are calibrated the same as the ones used in the check in counter so you don’t have to worry about it showing a different weight than the actual.

To be on the safe side of things, I suggest that you don’t go 50.0 pounds on the dot. Always give a bit of an allowance to allow for some error. Maybe 48 pounds. 49 pounds is pushing it, to be honest. Some airline crews aren’t that strict about the weight limit though but it’s a bit of a risk.

Carry Or Wear Some Of The Heavier Stuff With You

This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

I reckon this tip is mostly recommended for when you are only minimally above the 50-pound threshold. For instance, if your luggage came in at 51 pounds, you can either throw out some of your clothing or, the wiser choice, just wear some of it. Even a light jacket weighs more than 1 pound. That’s $90 saved for you.

If you’re pressed to save more, you can even carry some stuff in your pockets. I won’t advise this though as TSA might pull you over for acting suspicious. Needless to say, just stick with wearing extra clothing and be done with it.

Take Two Luggage Bags Instead

If you feel like no matter how strict you pack there’s still no way to go below the 50-pound threshold, just bring two luggage bags instead. This is going to save you more money. Let’s compare the rates down below.

First Luggage Bag – $30
Second Luggage Bag – $40
Overweight Bag 51-70 pounds – $90
Overweight Bag 71+ pounds – $175

*Take note that these rates aren’t standard. It depends on the carrier but the numbers above are good approximations.

As you can see, if you bring two luggage bags, that would only amount to $70 and you get an effective carrying capacity of 100 pounds. Compare that to $90 and a 70-pound limit. It’s no contest. I won’t even discuss the 71+ pounds option because the fee for that is just ridiculous.

Pack Wisely (Obviously )

Now, this is a topic that deserves an article on its own. This is where most travelers fail which is weird since packing seems to be a very simple task that anyone can do. And maybe that’s the main reason why most people fail doing it – it looks so simple and obvious.

Transfer Heavier Stuff Into Your Carry-On Luggage

It’s always a good idea to have a carry-on luggage for your travels. It’s basically a free storage bag. Carry-on bags have more stringent restrictions though.

They need to fit a strict dimension requirement. Depending on the airline, they may even put weight limit on them. From my experience, crews are a bit more lenient when it comes to carry-on luggage weight since the dimension is already limited.

You can only pack so much weight in such small storage. Well, unless you are carrying a metal plate (which isn’t allowed in the airport, if you’re wondering).

Some of the heavier things to transfer into your carry-on are your books, accessories, and heavier items you decided to carry on your travel.


To summarize, the amount you have to pay for overweight luggage depends on the airline carrier you are traveling with. The standard weight limit for international and some domestic flights is 50 pounds (you need to check for different countries though).

Even if you go over this limit by just 1 pound, you will be asked to pay a substantial fee. It’s in your best interest to never go higher unless you want to pay.

The standard fee is ~$100 for 51-70pounds (1-20 pounds excess weight). If you go beyond the second limit of 70 pounds, the usual rate is ~$200. As I’ve said, it is a substantial amount.

You can always just pay if the fee doesn’t bother you but I highly doubt that. To avoid the headache, only carry what you need and never go over the limit.