Beating airline luggage fees with new bags


If you’re one of the millions of flyers fed up over skyrocketing baggage fees, why not give up on checking your bags altogether?

On “The Early Show on Saturday Morning,” AOL’s consumer adviser, Regina Lewis, spotlighted the latest carry-ons designed to enable you to ditch those extra fees once and for all.

Why the overall trend of airlines charging?

It all comes down to math and margins. The airline industry is in survival mode. Carriers are struggling to stay afloat in the face of daunting fuel costs and plunging travel demand (in the last year, domestic carriers alone lost $11 billion).

On the flipside, last year, U.S. airlines took in more than $7.8 billion in fees from passengers, according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. So, they are clearly working the “fee” angle.

What are people doing to get around it?

Everything from shipping their stuff in advance, to buying it on-location and packing smarter and, of course, lighter; also, making doubly sure their carry-on bags are within the limits for dimensions — some goes for traveling with tape measures to prove their carry-on does comply.


The following descriptions were prepared with information provided by the manufacturers

Pack-It Compression Sacs ($10)

Compression Sacs allow you to remove excess air from bulky garments and save up to 80% of the volume. Handy for saving space or getting dirty laundry home without contaminating the rest of your bag.

Top 3 Coolest Things:
* Compresses your bulky clothing to save up to 80% space
* Easy to use
* Use it for anything – it’s so versatile you can use it to compress blankets, jeans, or jackets! Even dirty laundry

* Reduces volume up to 80%
* Patented one-way pressure valve
* Patented zip closure at top

SkoobaWraps ($18)

Protect your Portables. Whether it’s your phone, iPod, compact camera, or just about any other portable device, here’s where you’ll find unique and effective cases and accessories to keep all your gadgets – and the stuff that goes with them – safe and organized.

Talk about a product with “a jillion-and-one uses!” Versatile, inexpensive SkoobaWraps are an ideal way to add an extra measure of carrying protection, particularly inside luggage, carry-ons, or other unpadded cases. Just wrap up anything you want to protect, pack it, and go! Available in 3 sizes, suitable for anything from a compact camera to a small laptop computer.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.

eBags eTech Weekender Convertible ($80)

One of the best short trip travel packs you’ll ever find for the money! Suitcase-style entry; converts to a backpack for easy carrying. Perfect for the active traveler.

* Most significant trend is people wanting to make sure they have a carry-on that will fit on any airline (regional or national)
* The Weekender is a convertible backpack/duffel that has no frame or wheel system so it is squishable
* Orange interior lining to make it easy to find items inside the bag (vs traditional black which makes it hard to find items)
* 97% of purchasers on (2159 of 2223) said they would purchase again
* Perfect for those who want a “hands-free” carry-on
* Super lightweight at 3 lbs 10 oz.
* No bulky frame or wheels so even fits in regional jet overhead bins
* Contoured hide-away shoulder straps are generously padded with Airmesh and an adjustable sternum strap
* No bulky frame or wheels so even fits in regional jet overhead bins
* Adjustable laptop storage pocket discretely placed in a padded, protected pocket
* Lifetime guarantee
* Can purchase at

Delsey Helium Fusion Lite 2.0 ($90)

This has the “Over Weight Indicator” built in to the suitcase – This feature is on the 25″ and the 29″ trolleys as these are checked bags.

INNOVATION: “Over Weight Indicator” (Not a scale) this tells the consumer when the packed bag is over 50lbs which is the weight where most Airlines start charging you more money. No more guessing or fumbling with the bathroom scale! Pack the case/ Pull up the “Over Weight Indicator” handle/If the indicator is red, the case is over 50 lbs

The Helium Fusion Lite 2.0 can be found at all major department stores including Macys, Dillards, BonTon, specialty luggage stores, and etailers EBags,, Luggageonline to name a few.

Switchback Max 22 ($300)

For a multi activity trip when a backpack and wheels are essential. Carry on your back or roll down the street – whatever works. And the zip-off daypack is a perfect solution for your daily needs.

Top 3 Coolest Things:
* Coverts from wheeled luggage to comfortable backpack
* Modular daypack zips off
* Full-featured daypack with padded back,exceptional organization and padded laptop sleeve
* Multiple Carrying options for optimal versatility
* No Matter What Warranty – We’ll fix it no matter what. No one has this caliber of a warranty in the market!

* Storm flap protected, main compartment opens with beefy #10 two-way, lockable YKK zippers
* Top external compression straps secure and stabilize the load
* Removable padded shoulder strap adjusts for a comfortable carry
* Hypalon top carry handle and super durable three inch webbing straps for an easy hand carry
* Front exterior zip pocket for quick access items

Samsonite Spinners ($162)

Four multi-directional Spinner wheels allow 360° upright rolling so there is no weight bearing on your arm. The fact that the bag carries 100% of the weight is a huge benefit, especially to women. Spinners take the “lug” out of luggage. Spinners can glide right alongside you, pivot to get around tight spaces, and roll like a traditional 2-wheel case. In other words, Spinners move the way you do. They are perfect for wheeling down tight airplane aisles.

Samsonite Spinners are tested at fully loaded capacity to ensure they stand up to the rigors of travel.