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How to check your bags on an airline without getting charged

So you are flying on a commercial airline and have more than one bag? For most, that means a backpack/purse and a rollerboard type suitcase. Normally, this means the smaller bag goes under your seat and the larger goes in the overhead, right?

But let's say you have a larger than normal bag in addition to your briefcase/computerbag? Here's a hint..

Bring all of your bags through TSA security and go to your gate. When it comes time to board, hold back until almost everyone else has boarded, then go to the ticket attendant.

In a sincere voice ask, "Is the flight full?". Most likely, the airline employee will say indeed, it is full.

Continue sincerely, "Would it be best if I gate check my bag?". Odds are the airline will jump at this to save room on the flight. They will tag your bag, hold it, and send it down to the tarmac to be loaded in the plane.

Cost to you? Nada. The gate agents are not set up to take payments, only to get people on the plane as quickly and comfortably as possible. Passengers who willingly offer up their bags for checking are seen as saviors, not hinderances.

I have done this more than a half dozen times in the past two years and have never been charged.

By the way, the airlines limit passengers to two carryons. You, the guy with the massive rollerboard, brief case, smaller traveling bag, overcoat and shopping bag of gifts for the family - check your stuff or bring less when traveling!

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