Here is something really annoying that just happened to me with UA MEL-SYD-SFO-LAX then BUR-SFO-KIX all on UA Had 1 suitcase, 1 carry on, and 1 small poster in a cardboard cylind

8 replies

lind26

Member since 24 Apr 2014

Total posts 231

Here is something really annoying that just happened to me with UA

MEL-SYD-SFO-LAX then BUR-SFO-KIX all on UA

Had 1 suitcase, 1 carry on, and 1 small poster in a cardboard cylinder (3kgs)

All fine until checking in at BUR. Told different baggage rules for KIX. $200 for 5lbs overweight case. $100 for Poster - it's considered a second bag. Go figure!! Daylight robbery

wanderlust

Virgin Australia Platinum

Member since 09 Sep 2014

Total posts 60

Hello,

That is so unfortunate to be slammed with those fees at the airport. It must have been quite a shock. I would have been resistant in handing over my credit card. Did you try using an excuse like you are from Australia and are unfamiliar with United baggage policies? It never hurts to mention you are new to the airline as the check in agents may let you slide especially in the case of you being 2-3 kgs over the 23kg allowance. I agree that these charges feel like a daylight robbery and it was unfortunate the check in agent wouldn't make an exception to a light poster and a few pounds over.

I did some research and I found bad news for you. Unfortunately, your baggage allowance would have been the same from MEL to LAX as well as BUR to KIX. Perhaps, you didn't have that poster with you on the outbound or your suitcase wasn't over 23 kg or if you did, then the check in agent in Melbourne let it slide altogether.

A great tool to use to determine your exact baggage allowance so that you don't have any surprises is to go to United's baggage calculator at:

https://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/travel/Pages/CheckedBaggage.aspx

I took the liberty of entering your two routings and discovered that the fees you were charged made sense assuming you were flying in economy and held no status or less than Gold Status on United and/or Star Alliance.

 

If you had held at least Gold Status with United, you would have been able to check up to 3 bags at 32kgs each. This would have saved you all your fees. If you held Star Alliance Gold with an airline other than United, you would have had 2 bags covered at 23kgs each. Flying economy doesn't include much. Flying economy = 1 bag (23kg) business = 2 bags (32kg) Flying first = 3 bags (32 kg). United Airlines is known for high fees, especially for non-status flyers. Having status with United or at least Star Alliance could save you literally hundreds of dollars. I hope next time you are at the airport you have better luck with a nice check in agent willing to make an exception. You sure can save a lot of money when you know the baggage policy when packing since no two airline policies are ever the same.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,060

lind26,

Did your suitcase get progressively heavier at each stop from Melbourne?

Staff at smaller airports like BUR may be more aware of the rules and stick to them a lot more particularly since those flights are operated on smaller commuter planes that have a history of being overweight causing crashes and fatalities.

Of course the baggage rules about KIX may be entirely bogus. Staff at smaller ports also tend not to be the most cluey and of course It's easier to talk out of your arse and blame something further away like a foreign flight sector (bloody foreign rules you see...)

lind26

Member since 24 Apr 2014

Total posts 231

Hi

The suitcase weight never changed from MEL as I progressed on the trip

My issue is if I really was overweight in MEL at the outset, why was I not told?

Also rules are rules so I have no issues paying for more bags, but is a 3kg poster really a bag worth paying $100 for?

it seems it's the policy that sucks

Thanks  for all the help

wanderlust

Virgin Australia Platinum

Member since 09 Sep 2014

Total posts 60

The policy does suck. And the fees seem to only be getting higher with time. United's slogan is "Fly the Friendly skies." Well I dont see anything friendly about the baggage policy thats for sure.

lind26

Member since 24 Apr 2014

Total posts 231

Also the SFO to LAX sector was on a different day from MEL-SYD-SFO. They did not charge me on that sector. Makes no sense

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,060

I hear your pain. It's horrible when companies are not consistent in their application of policy.

I put it down to the staff at BUR. They're probably not even United staff but a member of staff of the regional airline that operates on behalf of United. 

But on the flip side, if in fact you were over the limit from the outset, wasn't it amazing that you were only charged for the last two legs! *Glass half full -half empty*

Hope you'll have better luck next time! 

wanderlust

Virgin Australia Platinum

Member since 09 Sep 2014

Total posts 60

TheRealBabushka is spot on! The staff at Burbank Airport (BUR) are not United Airlines employees. They work for SkyWest Airlines which does business as United Express for United, Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines, and American Eagle for American Airlines. United Express (SkyWest) only flies to two destinations from BUR: SFO / DEN

It is highly likely that because you were dealing with a regional based airline that does business on behalf of United Airlines, the check in agents follow the rules very closely. Also the size of the aircraft also comes into play because they aren't very big so baggage must be within operational limits.

I agree with TRB that if you were really over the limit from the beginning then you did save some money at least. It may be good that there isnt consistency sometimes with enforcing the rules and letting you slide. At the same time, the check in agent in MEL not informing you that you should be paying fees doesnt help you on your next set of flights.

In regards to the SFO - LAX sector, things do get tricky when you fly on a different day for a remaining flight. I'm assuming all flights were on one ticket and the SFO - LAX was just the next day and this was less than 24 hours connection from the SYD flight arrival, then the check in agent would honor the international baggage allowance. Also, unlike BUR, SFO is a hub for United and so that helps as well.

lind26

Member since 24 Apr 2014

Total posts 231

No - SFO to LAX was 6 days later

All flights on one ticket

Luck of the draw it seems. Still can't get over $100 for a poster. Overweight at $200 does not annoy me so much as the poster

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Here is something really annoying that just happened to me with UA MEL-SYD-SFO-LAX then BUR-SFO-KIX all on UA Had 1 suitcase, 1 carry on, and 1 small poster in a cardboard cylind

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