Life in the USA
Airlines let you take a certain amount of baggage. You'll check your larger items when you check in at the airline's airport counter. You'll be given numbered receipts for each item. If you want to take something into the plane's cabin with you, make sure to ask if the item is allowed. American airlines now place severe limits on the size and number of carry-on bags you may bring. They are also decreasing the weight and size allowances for checked baggage.
It Costs Money Now. The days of free checked baggage are over for passengers who travel on coach (economy) flights within the United States. Typically airlines will charge a fee of perhaps $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second bag. If your bags are over the weight limit, excess baggage fees will be high. International flights usually allow some form of free baggage allowance, as well as higher baggage weight limits.
Claiming Your Baggage. When the flight arrives, you'll have to find the baggage area for your particular flight. It will probably be listed on a television screen. Make sure not to take someone else's bag by mistake. When you leave the baggage area you will have to show your receipts to security personnel so they can check them against the bags you are carrying. Because bags do look alike, it is always a good idea to use luggage tags on all your luggage, and to have some identifying information inside the bag also. Some people tie brightly colored strings or yarn onto their suitcase handles for extra identification.
Lost Luggage. If your baggage is lost, you should go to the lost luggage office and give them all the information you can about the lost items. If you have to leave the airport without your lost luggage, take down all the information you can about which office you dealt with and how to reach them by telephone. Make sure also they know where you can be reached so they can deliver the luggage to you. Be polite but firm. Since baggage does get lost sometimes it's always a good idea to keep essential items like keys and medications in your hand luggage.
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