How To Tell If Your Luggage Is Over 50 Pounds Without A Scale

If you have a pair of suitcases, you probably know how heavy they are. But how can you tell if your luggage is over 50 pounds without a scale? While it may seem simple, many travelers overlook this crucial piece of information. In fact, it’s one of the most common mistakes travelers make when packing their bags.

Weighing Luggage Without A Scale

When traveling, you are always weighed. You are weighed on your way in and also during customs at airports throughout the world. But what if you’re flying to a destination with no airport? What can you do when there is no scale present at the moment of departure?

Should that matter at all then?? Well -depending on weight- maybe not! A poor decision was made by United Express pilot Alfonso Iqui for this very reason.

He flew a US Airways plane from Houston to Buenos Aires after the weigh-in at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport both consumed 4 of his bags’ permitted carry on weight of 50 pounds each.

Why were you weighed, MrIqui? United Airlines tells us it is done for security purposes . The airline investigates everything before travelers fly and videos are recorded during boarding activities captured by infrared cameras in strategic locations throughout the aircraft cabin. If a passenger is overweight – or if their clothes and carry-on bags – imply that they may be hauling anything larger than allowed on a plane, someone will ask them to grab their seatbelt and the airline staff weighs them. This process represents approximately one percent of air travelers each year . United Airlines offers explanations for why travelers are weighed:

Security Concerns Over Luggage The process goes like this: When approached by security agents, you’ll claim your checked luggage and place it directly on the scale:

Then United Airlines staff will step you up one by one. They’ll “welcome” you with a rapid spritz from an oral spray bottle, as if they were welcoming everyone to their favorite watering hole . Then -at least now- travelers are weighed in front of cameras mounted above the airport entrances Checked Luggage Weight Limits It’s also worth noting that many airlines allow each passenger to check two pieces of luggage, like bags or suitcases.

How To Weigh A Suitcase With A Bathroom Scale

But don’t assume they can all be checked. If you’re flying Spirit, the Mountain States Donner Pass out of Reno and a number of other smaller regional airlines, there’s no additional allowance for bags – … at least not to exceed 50 pounds total weight. Or if your first choice airline offers a discounted ticket or special offer , think twice before accepting it because those tickets often make allowances allowing one carry-on bag .

Uh oh! United Airlines is considering cutting weight allowances!

It’s not just us. According to Travel + Leisure , Alaska Airlines recently announced that their budget carriers “Polar Air” would be removing all free carry-on bags , and requiring passengers to check in larger baggage prior to boarding. Remember, if you’re paying $50 per pound for your bagulars, there’s no way it can get along without another heavy sack of money tied around its neck .

How To Estimate Luggage At Home Without A Scale

The website Tightwad Traveler has a useful guide for packing tips, step-by-step instructions to help you estimate what will fit in your bag . It’s impossible to go over by much if at all – even when upping from an earlier carry on load.

How Much Does  Luggage Weight Limit  Really Matter? In it they write: As long as the bag is light enough and fits safely into overhead bins , it’s not that big of a deal. I’m sure there will be people who try to sneak more than one piece or suitcase past the correct weight limit at security , but you’ll probably just get socked with another extra charge for overweight luggage too if it snags your handlers attention.

But Your Bag May   Travel Too Heavy  If It Contains Hazardous Materials The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulates all types of bags taken on board aircraft. Under Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) 23, there is a screening of all items passing through the security checkpoint .

Checked assorted baggage can contain hazardous materials such as non-combustible liquids or powders; explosives; oxidizing agents; compressed gases ; corrosives ; radioactive materials , biological hazards and other regulated substances without proper ventilation precautions for safety reasons.


The best way to drastically reduce the weight in a carry on bag is by using a packing checklist . It will help you stay organized and minimize your stuff so it fits with all its plastic wrappings within checked baggage regulations, without risking being socked with additional fees for going over.

A good blog post also makes it easier to add or subtract items from that list as needed, when buying new clothes or shoes during the trip – making sure necessary change of clothes fit easily, though not necessarily sized as you might prefer.

Frequently Asked Questions

–  Has The TSA Tightened Up Its Security Checkpoints?

Yes. The increased security drive has led to long lines, so try to get there early or you might not be able to fly out on the same flight you came in on.

– What Are The Limits On Hand Luggage?

Under TSA rules, you are allowed to carry only one 40-pound bag and a small clutch purse of clear plastic or vinyl with up to 10 A4″x12′ sheets of paper or equivalent content. If your suitcase weighs more than 70 pounds it will need to be checked.

– How Do I Know If My Bag Is 50 Pounds?

It’s around 50 pounds when the bag itself weighs 25 pounds, plus all of its contents. To figure out what your bag weight is, you need to know how many items it holds and fill up a calculator with that information.

– Is There A Limit On Size Also?

If your carry-on bag is larger than 50 x 35 by 22, create 10 zones on the outside of the backpack.

– What If I Could Only Fit One Book Into My Pocket?

You can carry up to three books, but they must be no thicker than 12″ nor longer that 16″. which you always include an idea .

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