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Programs & Services > Allowances > Frequently Asked Questions > Excess Accompanied Baggage

Excess Accompanied Baggage
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: 4/10/12

  1. Is it true that airlines are charging for checked baggage?
  2. Does this affect my carry-on baggage?
  3. May I be reimbursed for airline baggage surcharges?
  4. What is Excess Accompanied Baggage?
  5. Am I exempt from these surcharges if I am on an official travel order?
  6. If I am a member under a PCS order, does the exception also apply to my dependents traveling under my PCS travel order?
  7. Will the airlines charge me the excess baggage fee if I use a contract city-pair airfare?
  8. If I use a non-contract city-pair airfare, will the airline charge an excess baggage fee?
  9. What if I hold an itinerary that includes travel on a code share airline?
  10. Do the checked bag fees cover travel one way or roundtrip?
  11. How do I pay the fee? Can I pay it when I purchase my ticket?
  12. These excess baggage charges will be a financial hardship to my program. Are there other alternatives to help me avoid excess baggage charges?
  13. Do you have any other hints on how I can save on the baggage fees?
  14. Where can I find more information?

1. Is it true that airlines are charging for checked baggage?

Yes, airlines have had the authority to charge for baggage and have begun actually charging fees for checked baggage. With fuel costs higher than they have ever been, the airlines are finding ways to offset increased operating costs. The new fees vary by airline. Please consult with your CTO/TMC for your specific flight requirements.

2. Does this affect my carry-on baggage?

It might Ordinarily, you are allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item when boarding the aircraft.

3. May I be reimbursed for airline baggage surcharges?

If your AO authorizes/approves the cost of excess accompanied baggage on a TDY order, you may be reimbursed. Excess accompanied baggage charges are allowed only when authorized/approved IAW JFTR, par. U3105-A or JTR, par. C3105-A. A command may opt to limit how much will be paid for (e.g., 3-day trip and 5 suitcases seems a little much), but if even the first bag has a charge, the command may pay it IAW JFTR par. U3105-C or JTR par. C3105-C, and APP G, par. 22h.

4. What is Excess Accompanied Baggage?

IAW JFTR, par. U3105-A and JTR, par. C3105-A, Excess Accompanied Baggage is accompanied baggage in excess of the weight, size, or number of pieces carried free by a transportation carrier.

5. Am I exempt from these surcharges if I am on an official travel order?

Procedures vary by airline. Please consult with your CTO/TMC for your specific flight requirements. Some airlines are currently granting the following exceptions:

  • active military personnel with ID and government issued travel order
  • an official traveler using a contract city-pair airfare
  • status members of the airline's frequent flyer club
  • a traveler traveling to and from Europe
  • an unaccompanied minor
  • a traveler checking personal assistive devices (such as a walker, crutches and wheelchair)

6. If I am a member under a PCS order, does the exception also apply to my dependents traveling under my PCS travel order?

Although your dependents traveling under your PCS travel order are official (i.e., Government) travelers, most airlines do not consider them to be members', and airline procedures vary. Please consult with your CTO/TMC for your specific flight requirements.

7. Will the airlines charge me the excess baggage fee if I use a contract city-pair airfare?

Maybe. Some airlines are not charging government travelers for baggage when flying using the city-pair airfare program; however, check with your CTO/TMC for your specific flight requirements.

8. If I use a non-contract city-pair airfare, will the airline charge an excess baggage fee?

Maybe. Most airlines charge the excess baggage fee when using a non-contract city-pair airfare, with a few exceptions (see Q/A 5 above). If you are preparing a cost analysis, and you plan to purchase a non-contract airfare, you must include this fee along with other projected expenses, in your constructed travel proposal prior to purchasing such a ticket. The determination whether or not to reimburse you for the baggage fee is dependent on whether or not you are authorized to purchase a non-refundable or "other" fare.

9. What if I hold an itinerary that includes travel on a code share airline?

You are subject to the policies of the operating carrier at the location at which you check in.

10. Do the checked bag fees cover travel one way or roundtrip?

Usually one way. For example, if the first checked bag is $15, and the second is $25, checking two bags roundtrip would cost a total of $80. (Pay $15 for the first bag, $25 for the second bag for a total of $40 for 2 bags for departure, and multiply that times two for the return trip.)

11. How do I pay the fee? Can I pay it when I purchase my ticket?

No, at this time you cannot pre-pay the fees for excess baggage. You should be financially prepared to pay for excess accompanied baggage while traveling IAW JFTR, par. U3105-B or JTR, par. 3105-B. Excess baggage charges can be paid as Reimbursable Expenses if charged, or not paid, if the command thinks there was 'excess' baggage that was 'excess' to the official needs of the traveler.

12. These excess baggage charges will be a financial hardship to my program. Are there other alternatives to help me avoid excess baggage charges?

Other options, such as shipping your official documents using mail or small package services such as FedEX or UPS are worth considering. Check with your service/agency to verify what options are available and reimbursable, and make a cost comparison.

13. Do you have any other hints on how I can save on the baggage fees?

Check with your CTO/TMC to see what baggage charges you may encounter, and try to keep the weight of your bags below 50 pounds each. It may be less costly to pay for two bags each under 50 pounds vs. one bag over 50 pounds. For example, two bags--first at $15 + second at $25 = $40 total, whereas one bag at 55 pounds = $15 first bag fee + $50 excess weight = $65 total.

14. Where can I find more information?

The GSA website contains a "Baggage Allowance" Fact Sheet.

 

 

     
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