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Baggage on domestic flights

Los Angeles...
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Baggage on domestic flights

We are on a private tour and will have 5 domestic flights plus the flight to and from LA and Shanghai. Our question is excess baggage on the domestic flights. We have the measurements and weights and fully expect to pay for anything over. In general, how much should we expect to pay for excess weight? How much would it cost to pay for an extra bag. We are aware things differ with the airline, but want a ball park figure so we can decide how to plan. Thank you

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

It depends on the weight. I thinks that it is a percentage of the full fare and the percentage depends on how much excess

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

Thank you. Yes, I think it is based on the weight. But we are trying to get some dollar amounts. Any idea of ball-park amounts for the weight? Also, would an extra bag be based on an extra bag fee or as excess weight? With 4 of us, we are trying to figure out the most economic way to handle extra weight/luggage. we are doing 5 domestic flights so my understanding is that the extra costs might be different on each flight.

Beijing, China
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for Guilin, Xi'an, Tibet
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3. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

For economic class, the policy is:

Free weight: 20kg per person. Besides, you can take a small hand bag for 5 kg at most with you into plane for free.

Excess weight: number of excess kg × full rate (before discounted) of your flight.

In practice: They don't care if weight excesses not much (ok if only a few kg). If too much, you just put something into your handbag. Nobody take the 5 kg limitation for handbag seriously.

Actually there is also limitation for package size, but generally that is not a concern. Most travel suitcases will be right sized production.

Beijing, China
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4. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

It's by excess weight, not the US-style per bag. Usually it's 1.5% of the full fare economy ticket price, per kilo. If you're traveling economy class, 20 kg per person for checked luggage is the standard for nearly all Chinese airlines on domestic flights. That's about 44 pounds.

Example: Beijing - Guilin, full fare economy ticket by regulation is RMB 1790, (even though you may not be paying this you have a discounted ticket.) Your checked bag is 25 kilos, excess of (5 kg) x (1790) x (.015) = RMB 134 or about USD 21.

Note the following to help your calculations:

1) As official full fares WITHIN MAINLAND CHINA are set by kilometers of distance, the longer the flight, the more the excess fee will be in absolute terms. Yes, this means the additional fee for the same bag with the same excess will be less on a Wuhan - Shanghai flight than a Chengdu - Harbin flight.

2) The 20 kg limit does not have to reside within a single bag, but can be comprised of more than one bag or box. They are supposed to be (and usually are) weighed together at the check-in desk.

3) Carry-on baggage is officially limited to 5-7 kg per person dep on airline, but in practice, I've never seen carry-ons weighed. As long as you don't look like you're dying under the weight, stuffing some heavier stuff in there will pass. Keep cognizant of security checkpoint rules however....which are somewhat similar to TSA rules in USA.

4) Often if you're only 1-2 kg overweight, the check-in agents will let it go if you are nice and polite. No guarantees though. IME, senior agents are more likely to use their executive discretion and let things slide vs younger, junior staff who are too afraid to do anything other than by the rulebook. Also helps if you get to check-in a bit early so there are fewer other (Chinese passenger) witnesses to see and demand the same treatment.

5) Business or first class get extra kg weight allowance. Often elite status members of one of the major alliances also get extra weight allowance even if flying economy---check policy with the Chinese airline you are flying. If one or two of your party are elites that qualify for an extra 10 kg, put the excess in their luggage!

Finally: Since China is an informal place and assuming this is all pleasure and not business travel, I strongly suggest pruning down your travel gear so that each person has their own 20-22" rollaboard (which will be checked) and then a personal daypack to carry on. Laptop, camera bag, coat, purse etc. can be additional (Chinese don't get too anal about the extra "personal items" carried on board).

Edited: 06 March 2013, 07:39
Beijing, China
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for Guilin, Xi'an, Tibet
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5. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

Ops, I missed the 1.5%, the right over-weight charge is:

number of excess kg × 1.5% × full rate (before discounted) of your flight.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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6. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

I agree with kvchina that you really are better to try to cut your luggage down before you start. Even though it is a private trip you will still have to manage your luggage in airport, through numerous security checks etc - better not to be too loaded down - also leave space for shopping ;-)

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

Thank you for the responses. Very informative. We are planning on keeping things to a minimum. If I understand correctly, if a person has 2 suitcases the excess fee would be on the weight of the 2 items combined rather than on the number of items. Our problem is that one member is coming in from a week in Australia and may have more stuff than those of us going straight from our home base. This helps us to plan. Thank you so much for the details.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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8. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

Right, it is the combined weight. I find that in 50% of the cases they will not charge you. Depends on the clerk or, possibly, their enlish skills or lack thereof.

Get some quick dry clothes and wash. I can travel for weeks with one piece of luggage of 20k (that's one piece for two people, or about 10k each). And even then, there is always stuff we end up not using.

Edited: 06 March 2013, 20:40
Miami
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9. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

Please advise on carry on luggage in the domestic airlines.

We are booked on 3 domestic flights. Using Air China & China Southern.

I'm use to checking in one piece of luggage (under 40lbs.) and carrying on a 20 inch wheeled carry on along with a backpack or large tote purse.

Is that a problem in the China domestic airlines? I have read different opinions on that topic and I'm a little confused. I even read that carry ons where up to 11lbs. Is that rule implemented?? My back probably weights 11 lbs.!!! Don't want to have a problem at the airport counters with my carry on. It's never being an issue anywhere else. Also no problem carrying on the usual 3oz liquid toiletries right??

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Baggage on domestic flights

To poster no. 9, I doubt you will have any problem. They rarely weigh the carry on bags. When we were there, we kept within the 20 KG limit for checked bags by loading all of our shoes and other heavy items into the carry-ons. A roller bag plus backpack or tote is fine. They follow the same rule as the States in terms of the one ziplock bag of carry-on liquid/gels.