Friday, while planning my luggage for the trip home, I got on the internet to check baggage regulations for NWA.
First I noted that I could take two check bags up to 50 pounds for free. The two check bags may actually be up to 100 pounds each, but they incur overweight fees. (FYI: $25 for up to 70 pounds and a larger number which I forgot for up to 100 pounds.) Baggage over 100 pounds must go through air cargo.
Next I looked up ski equipment to find that skis and boots only count as one piece of check baggage. This saved me the trouble of fitting the boots into a suitcase and spared me the inevitable weight fees. (Since I brought two check bags and ski equipment I did have to incur a $110 fee for a third bag; just, no overweight fees.)
Of course, passengers are only allowed one carry on bag, with a weight limit of 40 pounds. However, reading the rules carefully revealed one little surprise and then a bigger one.
In addition to the carry on, it is acceptable to bring a purse, briefcase, laptop, or small backpack. My backpack probably doesn’t fall on the small side (a laptop disappears inside it with many other supplies), but since it fits well on my back nobody has every questioned it.
The bigger surprise was the list of items one can bring in addition to all baggage limits. Remember, this list is not stuff inside your carry on bags; it is loose in your hands. Read on:
- Reasonable amount of reading material (how much could you read in 16 hours?)
- Two-wheeled baggage cart
- Child car seats
- Fully collapsible umbrella style stroller
- Infant diaper bags
- Collapsible wheelchair
- Medical assistive devices
- Braces or Prosthetic devices (if needed)
They failed to mention duty-free bags which, being handed to you on the ramp, are impossible to “pack”. As I read the regulations one-by-one, I had a mental image of me with one small and two large suitcases and a backpack with the additional items appearing on me. The completed image was very amusing. Of particular note was the use of plural for car seats and diaper bags, but only singular for stroller. But, by far, the most notable had to be including the “if needed” clause only on the prosthetics. I can only assume it is OK for me to drag along a wheelchair, which is convenient since I will need it to help carry two car seats and two or three diaper bags.