Qatar Airways Charges How Much For Excess Checked Baggage?!?

Filed Under: Qatar

Most frequent flyers have elite status or fly business or first class. Usually, this means you get at least two checked bags, which is more than enough on a regular trip. For the people without elite status, it’s a different story.

Next month, I’m flying my cousin back from Bali to Sweden on Qatar Airways and she needs to check two suitcases. The standard economy allowance on this route is 30kg, which is generous. When I called up to make her booking, I asked how much an extra bag would cost. I thought the agent was joking when he said it costs $40 per kilo. Well, I just verified the cost on their website. It’s correct — a standard additional 23kg would cost $920.

There is no way to buy in bulk, so you will be paying $920 for a standard suitcase. The price of additional luggage from Australia is even more insane. If you buy it at the airport, you’ll pay $1,610 for an additional bag! At that price, you might as well upgrade to business.

In comparison, Lufthansa charges $200 on the same routes, which is still expensive.

Meanwhile, Etihad charges $170 for another piece of checked luggage.

Zone 2 – Zone 2 is Asia to Europe.

The best price seems to be with Finnair — a mere $60.

Please don’t redeem 20,000 miles for a value of $60!

I’m in disbelief. In the future, there is no reason to book Qatar for more than a short vacation with such outrageous prices for additional luggage. As you’ve seen in my economy reviews of the ME3, the experience is good, but not much more impressive than the reputable European or Asian carriers.

What is the most expensive excess baggage you’ve paid for? Do you have any advice for my cousin? Right now, it seems like she’ll be better off shipping her other suitcase home!

  1. I remember Thai has a similar per kilo situation. I’m sure it leads to many screaming matches at the checkin counters for people who want to buy excess bags during checkin.

  2. It’s about $85 per kg from ZRH to any destination in Australia or New Zealand on Singapore Airlines. While it might be a lot, it’s just a matter of piece vs weight concept, no? Do airlines charge per piece if they have weight concept otherwise?

  3. In these situations, you are better off slipping a $100 along with your passport to the check-in agent and pray he/she will let you off. I do this in China all the time.

  4. Traveled with a group that was just bit by this yesterday. Collectively paid over 1,800€ in excess luggage. Remarkably expensive.

  5. I was going to suggest shipping it instead. We shipped a bunch of stuff home from Japan in the middle of a trip and it wasn’t expensive at all. It’s bound to be cheaper than $920!

  6. I’d love to know what people travel with that is so valuable that it is worth paying $100s for more luggage. I’ve been on two week trips going hand luggage only. I can do a 4 day trip with just a under the seat backpack…

  7. How did she get the 2 suitcases to Bali in the first place? Not on Qatar presumably. Can’t she go back the same way?

  8. I know plenty of folks who need an extra bad for all the amazing craft purchases they made while there. Not sure why warm enters into it, unless you don’t think beyond clothes.

  9. Hey, Ben! You maybe didn’t regognize this, but QR does not count the bags! You can check in as many bags as you want and will not be charged as Long as you are within the total weight limit.

    This also means that your calculation is wrong if you assume your cousin to check in 2 bags of 23 kg: She would only be charged for 16 kg, so it would cost her 640 $.

    Another tip from me: You can save weight on the tara: Use the lightest bags you can find for checked baggage. Or for example you could take a “normal” suitcase and use one or more “softer” and lighter bag(s) in as additional checked baggage.

  10. Well the other way I can think of and do note it will be a much harder to do it, will be find fellow passengers (best in business class) in same plane with her going to the same final destination, have not reached the baggage allowance plus willing to check it in for her. Given the chaos going on around the world, this option definitely don’t sound positive. Best for her to start finding out how much does it cost for her to ship her stuff back. Sometimes with some repacking on what goes on plane and what goes on shipping, may help with the overall cost.

  11. Sweet talk the Qatar folks. Wear something nice. Don’t look like an american–dress well, speak well. Sometimes, they’ll waive the fees or reduce them. Good luck!

  12. One important note (at least for many readers): that per-kg price chart does not apply to flights to/from the US or Canada. Qatar has a flat $200/bag rate for US/Canada flights.

  13. Unfortunately shipping from Bali can be quite expensive, however it will be nowhere near what Qatar wants to charge for 23 kilos. All the major tourist areas have shippers who can price it, and there are even more shippers lining the roadway near the airport.

    I just shipped a ~20 kilo box from Australia to the US east coast and it only cost US $260. Not cheap at all, but I didn’t want to have to bother dealing with it at the airport and having to lug it on top of our other suitcases. And while Australia isn’t Indonesia, I simply use it as a comparison point for long-distance shipping.

  14. 20 kg of baggage is way enough for any sane person. For a longer stay, there are washing machines. For an even longer stay like half a year in Australia etc, buy locally what you need to replace, from socks to shampoo.

    For her returning home:
    1) Get rid of what has little value/ is worn out
    2) Inquire about shipping rates for the rest
    3) If shipping rates > replacement cost in Europe for the oversize baggage, junk that also

  15. Agree that Qatar’s excess weight charges are obscene. However, with a generous 30kg (66 pound) checked bag allowance along with whatever one can cram into a carryon bag, it’s hard to be sympathetic to this traveller.

    One possible workaround is if her carryon bag is small she can dump it and buy a larger one and try cramming as much weight as possible in it jettisoning whatever will not fit. I have a zipped, expandable polycarbonate carryon spinner and I’ve put 45 pounds in it and got it onboard. It’s amazing how much you can get in one of these.

    Has anyone ever returned from a trip anywhere and said, “I wish I’d packed heavier?”

  16. @Donna

    Does “I wish I had brought more warm cloths to Prague during winter” counts as “I wish I’d packed heavier?”

    That was my first and last time in Prague during February. Was nice to avoid all the tourists on the Charles bridge, but there was oh so many reasons why it was not an good idea otherwise.

  17. If you have not already bought the QR ticket, one option would be to get her a positioning flight to BKK or HKG and buy a one-way ticket on Aeroflot in Premium Economy. Normally sells for around 700-800 USD and gets her 2 [email protected] kg each. A third bag if I’m reading the SU website correctly is 200 USD or excesses weight on one bag up to 32 kg is 125 USD.

    If she is returning to Bali anytime soon a R/T ticket costs around 1200 USD.

    Also don’t forget Norwegian Premium out of Bangkok even if it’s only 2x20kg.

  18. It’s not just Qatar that does that. When you pay by weight it’s always expensive and depends on the distance flown can be crazy. Some airlines offer flat rate excessive fee but not all do that

  19. Lots of airlines charge rates like this ($60-120/kg) especially from Aus/NZ. I had a similar situation with Fiji airways (then air pacific) and it was about $80/kg at the airport I believe. I used to work as a travel agent and would have to ask whether people were planning to bring extra bags depending on who they were planning to book with so we wouldn’t get panicked and angry phone calls from the airport.

  20. I remember looking at this the night before I moved countries, and thinking I was safe even purchasing an extra bag on top of my OW (then) sapphire status… and panicking! luckily shipping from Hong Kong is cheap, so I just slow-boated my least needed things to Europe. Saved about $600.

  21. Yep, these fees are absurd. My sister was recently over weight on hand luggage by 4 kg due to carrying a small musical instrument, and the check in staff tried to charge her $130! That’s despite being QR plat as well.

    She’s a child and was travelling alone with no means of paying such a fine so in the end they waived the fee, but still ridiculous.

    Made even more of a joke coupled with the fact the UK airport she was departing from doesn’t even bother to weigh hand luggage 80% of the time.

  22. The excess baggage rate is a standard 1 percent of the first class airfare for the route to be flown. This is an Industry standard rate charged by all airlines for excess baggage per kilo. This is charged when you check in a 28 kilo bag when your allowance is 20 kilos, etcetera. Most airlines have a set ‘extra piece’ rate/ fee for any extra bags, around the USD$200 per extra bag rate. I checked and for QR they do not have a set fee/charge for an extra piece of checked luggage on routes to Europe, so yes, you are stuck with paying the extremely expensive excess baggage rate. Very few people pay this as airlines offer ‘air cargo’ rates at a fraction of the excess baggage rate, for items to be shipped. This ‘air cargo’ process can not be done by the normal check in desk staff and has to be handled by the cargo side of the airport and those specialised companies. There is a very good ‘baggage shipping’ company with reasonable rate, but eh Indonesia to Sweden rate does not quote online. You have to email them at [email protected] Hope this helps.

  23. There was an oppounity here for an informative post about the ways different airlines charge for luggage. Some non-American carriers charge by the total weight of your bags, regardless of the number of bags (which sort of makes sense, since fuel is more expensive than cargo space.) Instead, you’ve missed the main point and invented a second-bag fee where none exists. Yes, excess weight fees are insane – but that’s fairly common, and worth a discussion. Instead, you’re conflating two issues. Suppose Qatar’s maximum bag weight were 15kg instead of 23kg (as it is on some LLCs) and your crazy-problem-of-the-$920-bag disappears. You’re free to use your platform to bash an airline you resent. But it’d be a better blog if you discussed the actual policy.

  24. Turkish Airways is Euro 20,- per KG so in your example 460 Euro or over 500 USD!

    And thats also in Business where they allow 40 kg which is not much.

  25. Did you seriously completely miss the point? The allowance is 30kg for checked luggage. There’s no restriction on number of bags. Total faux pas on this pseudo-journalistic website, between posts like this which are basically ramblings of a wannabe frequent flyer which can’t even get the most basic condition of an airline ticket right – baggage allowance, and Lucky’s 4-paragraph recap intros making anything he writes super competitive..

    Some regions have limits on number of bags e.g. North America, and at least on Emirates also Africa, where the allowance is 2x 23kg

  26. You’ve got to be having a laugh!?

    I know many people travel with a ridiculous amount of stuff and they can do whatever they like, but to actually say you need more than 30kg per person for anything other than a “short trip”!?

  27. Middle eastern carriers are the WORST when it comes to baggage allowance. My brother flied Etihad a lot back when he lived in AD and they would charge CRAZY expensive rates for slightly over the weight bags. ridiculous. as if theyre not rich enough.

  28. Yes, I was recently looking up extra baggage rates from Perth to Cairo on Emirates: around $50 per kilo. Just ridiculous.

    @TravelinWilly How did you send your 20 kg?

  29. You should ask an air freight agent to ship the suitcase as cargo. They might even get it on the same flight for a price of about 2-5 Dollar per kg.

  30. As someone previously suggested, your cousin can position in BKK and fly Norwegian and get 2 20kg bags for Flex and premium tickets. And according to their site, it appears to be £9 per excess kilo, making it £117.

  31. I have a friend who returning from CAN to TLV on Cathay Pacific (via HKG) with his wife was charged $1575 for 45kg in excess baggage between the 2. They also just assumed the can buy an additional bag for just $100….

  32. Maybe things have changed at Qatar. An experience several years back in Y class, Milan-Doha-Hong Kong. Milan, being the shopping magnet it is to mainland Chinese there were many on the first leg to Doha. All were laden. Strict control on check in with a preliminary check of checked baggage weight as well as hand luggage. Many of course were well in excess of their limit. Whatever the difference from the allowance to actual weight Qatar charged them a flat rate of €100. I write this only as a point of reference in this discussion.

  33. I am sad to read such dumb comments. Not everybody that travels goes only in vacation. If you move to a country and then go back off course you ll have a lot of things to bring with you. Also sometimes you may want to bring incredible stuff you cannot purchase in your country. I am a musician and i always struggle to transport instruments

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