We hacked the airline baggage system and you can too

29 Feb 2020

We hacked the airline baggage system and you can too

By: Rand

We travel a lot. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s not. Whatever, that’s not why I’m here. When we travel for work we bring a bunch of bags. We have a lot of gear, and usually, that gear needs to come with us. With me so far? Good.

Here lies the problem. That shit can be expensive. Not only would the baggage fees cost more than the plane ticket, but they would cost more than a few plane tickets. Here’s an example. A few months ago I went from Los Angeles to Dallas on American Airlines. The ticket cost me $266 plus taxes and fees and all that garbage. I had 7 bags. 2 are over 50 lbs. The first bag is $30. Second bag is $40. Third is $150. 4th is $200. And the two over weight bags have an additional $150. So, if you add that all up, it comes to an extra $1220 each way, or $2440 round trip. 

TOTAL $1220 each way or $2440 ROUND TRIP

BUT, we found a loophole. And it’s totally legal. You see, every major airline has a media bag rate. It’s usually hidden somewhere on their website, buried on their checked baggage page – hey you can check a a Christmas tree- you will find a section for media, which we are.

For the most part, with this media rate you pay a flat rate for each additional bags with no weight overage fee. And that fee is between $50 and $75 per extra bag.

So, back to some math. Those 7 bags that we would have had to pay an extra $2440 to go from LAX to Dallas now costs us $320 each way, or $640 Round trip for a total savings of about $1800.

TOTAL $320 each way or $640 ROUND TRIP

Total savings $2440-$640= $1,800.

Now each airline has different policies because they hold all the power and can make up the rules as they go BUT they all require some form of media Identification.

They want to see an ID that says who you are and what you do so they can check that box in their computer. But it’s not like there’s a DMV for video producers or media folk. There’s no official certification body or anything like that. So we made our own. We went online, made an official looking ID, had it laminated, slapped a barcode from google images and BAM. Our official media ID. And it has worked every single time. 

Rand Courtney