How to Weigh Luggage Before Your Flight

Two Methods:Weighing Luggage With a Bathroom ScaleWeighing Luggage With a Handheld Scale

So you’re going on a trip and you’re unsure whether bringing 15 pairs of shoes will push you over the weight limit. Weighing the luggage before you leave home will save you the heartache or removing items at the airport or the headache of paying hefty baggage fees. Check your airlines requirements, remembering the limits vary greatly between domestic, international, carry- on and checked baggage.

Method 1
Weighing Luggage With a Bathroom Scale

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    Find your airline ticket confirmation. Scroll to the bottom to find the general restrictions for baggage weight. Go to the airline’s website and type “baggage” into the search bar to find a complete set of baggage rules.
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    Set your bathroom scale in an open area, so that you can weigh your bag without resting it on a wall or rack.
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    Weigh yourself. Get on the scale and look at the weight reading below. Write down your weight.
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    Pick up your piece of luggage. If your baggage is heavy and you have back problems, you may want to ask a healthier family member to do this for you. Keep the luggage in the air while you get on the scale.
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    Wait for the scale to settle on a weight. Then, write down that weight.
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    Subtract your initial weight from the weight holding the luggage. This is the current weight of your packed bags. Remember that if you add anything to the luggage after this point, it will no longer be accurate.
    • For example, if your initial weight was 160 lbs. (72.5kg), and then you weighed yourself with your bag and it was 184 lbs. (83.5kg), then the weight of your luggage is 24 lbs. (11kg).[1]
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    Compare your luggage weight with the airline’s restrictions. Remove items from the bag and repeat until you drop under the weight requirement.
    • Some experts report that baggage scales are often wrong. It is ok to ask the airline to reweigh the bag on another scale or reset the scale, if you weighed it at home and found it was less than the limit.[2]
    • It is a good idea to keep the baggage at least a lb. under the limit to avoid problems with scales.

Method 2
Weighing Luggage With a Handheld Scale

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    Research your luggage allowances before you weigh your bag. Go to your ticket confirmation or the airline website and look for domestic and international weight allowances.
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    Purchase a handheld luggage scale from a travel store or an online retailer. They usually run between $14 and $30. If you travel a lot, this is a great tool to avoid fees.
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    Insert the required batteries into the back of the handheld scale. Press the Power or On button. It should bring up a numbers or 0.0 lbs. reading.
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    Select whether you want to use lbs. or kg. Most scales have options for both. The airlines will also list the weight restrictions in both units of measure.
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    Attach the bottom strap or metal hook to the top of your luggage. It should loop easily around the handle at the top of a standard piece of wheeled luggage. Don’t lift until you are ready to take a reading.
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    Lift the bag for 5 to 10 seconds. It may beep to tell you it has a reading and you can check the reading after you have set the luggage down. On some less expensive scales, you need to read the weight as you lift.
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    Compare the weight with the luggage allowances for your flight. Reduce the number of things in your bag and repeat the process if you are overweight.

Tips

  • If you don’t like either of these methods and you are in the market for new luggage, choose the Expert Verdict bags that have a built in scale. At the top of the bag is a built in display that will tell you how heavy your bag is in kg, lbs. or oz.[3]

Things You'll Need

  • Luggage weighing scale
  • Bathroom scale

Article Info

Categories: Air Travel