How To Weigh Luggage Without A Scale? – Travel Q&A

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Flying is an exciting way to arrive at any destination. From coastlines and castle turrets to backyard swimming pools, cityscapes, and breathtaking skylines, there is a lot to see from the air. 

The more foreign and exotic, the more mysterious and intriguing the trip. 

But what about your bags? Will they pass those pesky weight requirements for checked and carry on luggage or will they be one inch too big?

Before heading out to the airport, regardless of how far or near you’re flying, remember to phone the airline and inquire about their specific luggage restrictions. 

The last thing you want to do is miss a flight (or shell out extra cash on unexpected fees) because your luggage weighs too much.

How Important is My Luggage Weight Anyhow?

Knowing the exact weight of your luggage is critical to traveling as smooth as possible. Not knowing how much your luggage weighs causes your boarding time to be extended. It can also cost you more than a couple of bucks that you weren’t expecting to pay.

Not to mention the embarrassment of having to unpack and repack luggage in front of a bustling airport full of onlookers.

That said, keep in mind that each airline’s weight restrictions are different. That means you can’t base your luggage weight on the regulations from the last airline you flew with. 

Furthermore, due to small lapses in various scale-technology, it’s best practice to ensure that your luggage is at least one pound underweight. That way you’re luggage will pass airline regulations even if their scale’s reading is up to a pound different than your measurement.

Airlines and Luggage Weight Allowance

Knowing how much your luggage weighs is more than important, it is necessary. That said, it is also necessary to contact the specific airline you’re flying with to find out the precise luggage weight allowance both for checked bags.

Here are a few examples of particular airlines and their luggage weight allowance:

  • Air Canada: single 50-pound bag on transatlantic flights
  • Air France: single 44-pound bag on most flights
  • Air New Zealand: one or two 50-pound bags depending on the flight
  • Alaska Airlines: single 50-pound bag (may cost extra)
  • American Airlines: varies depending on the flight
  • British Airways: single 50-pound bag on domestic flights, 2 50-pound bags on long-haul flights
  • Delta Air Lines: 50-pound bag (may cost extra)
  • Easyjet: up to 8 bags equalling a total weight of 44 pounds or less
  • Finnair: 44 pounds on domestic flights, 50-pound bag on flights to the USA or Canada
  • Flybe: single 22 to 44-pound bag depending on flight
  • Iberia: single 22 to 50-pound bag, 2 50-pound bags for flights to the Americas, Africa, or the Middle East
  • Icelandair: single 44-pound bag
  • Monarch: single 22-pound bag
  • Norwegian 2: two 44-pound bags on most flights
  • Ryanair: a single 22-pound bag
  • SAS Scandinavian: Airlines: 50-pound bags on domestic flights, 62-pound bag on most international flights
  • Singapore Airlines: one 62-pound bag or two 50-pound bags depending on the flight
  • South African Airways: a single 44-pound bag
  • United Airlines: one 50-pound bag on most flights
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways: up to two 50-pound bags

What if I Don’t Have a Scale to Weigh My Luggage?

You’re about to head out the door to go catch your flight and you suddenly remember that you didn’t weigh your luggage because you don’t have a scale?

Not having a scale to weigh your bags before jetting off on a trip (pun intended) can spell disaster at the airport. 

So, what do you do? Do you even know what the 50 or 60-pound weight allowed by the airline feels like? And even if you think you do, are you really willing to gamble on your ability to gauge weight without a scale?

Thankfully for you, we dug in deep and did our research on the subject and came up with a few significant tricks that’ll help you learn how to weight luggage without a scale.

How to Weigh Luggage Without a Scale

Hopefully, most of you have a scale at home. However, for argument’s sake, let’s assume you either don’t own a scale or you’re in a distant location packing your bags for a return flight home and realize there are no scales in your hotel room.

What do you do now?

If you were at home you could first weigh yourself and then grab your bags and hop back on the scale. Then all you need to do is subtract your own weight from the total weight of you and your luggage. The remaining number is how much your luggage weighs.

For those who find themselves in the predicament of not having a scale, have no fear. There are numerous ways to accurately weigh luggage without a scale.

Here are a few of the most reliable methods for weighing luggage without a scale that we thought you should know about:

1. Compare to familiar objects

The first and probably easiest (and most accurate) is comparing the weight of your luggage to familiar objects. 

For example, let’s pretend that you have three dogs and so are very familiar with the weight of a 50-pound bag of dog food. 

First, lift your luggage and get a feel for the weight of it. Then, lift the 50-pound bag of dog food as a reminder of what the weight feels like. Do this two or three times to make sure you’re getting an accurate idea of how much the luggage weighs. 

Pack and repack your luggage until it weighs less if it feels even the slightest bit heavier than the familiar objects your comparing it too.

Comparing luggage to familiar objects is a fast and easy method of weighing luggage without a scale. Albeit, it is not 100 percent accurate, it’s extremely close.

2. Take a trip to the local post office, FedEx, or UPS store

The second method of how to weigh luggage without a scale is another simple one. This one is possibly even less complicated than comparing luggage to familiar items.

All you have to do is pack your luggage into your vehicle, or a cab, and head to the nearest post office, FedEx, UPS Store, or equivalent. All of these businesses are equipped with large (and very accurate) postal scales. 

If you ask nicely, they’ll probably even weigh your luggage for free.

On the chance they do charge, it’s sure to be a lot cheaper than the additional airline fees you’d get stuck with for having overweight luggage.

All of the above taken into consideration, you may not have 50-pound bags of dog food with you in a foreign hotel, or access to a vehicle or cab to get to the post office for the matter. And, if that is the case, the next option is possibly your best bet.

3. Build your own makeshift scale

In the case that you have no familiar objects nearby, and no way to get to a FedEx or UPS Store, there is one last option that genuinely seems to work if done properly.

You need to gather up items of which you know the weights of. This can be gallons of water (which weigh 8.35 pounds), hand weights, and a wide variety of other objects. You also need to collect a flat plank. 

Next, gather a kitchen bowl, or sturdy bottle, to use as a fulcrum. Make sure that this fulcrum raises your plank high enough off the floor to allow both ends to move as necessary.

Attach your luggage to one side of the plank and place the plank on the fulcrum. One by one, add your items of known weight to the opposite end of the plank. Once the plank is balanced, with your luggage hover above the floor, as well as the items on the opposite end, hover at equal height, the desired luggage weight has been achieved.

If your luggage isn’t being lifted off of the floor, and the plank isn’t balancing, it’s time to unpack and repack your luggage with less weight. 

Repeat this process until the balance is achieved and you’re good to go.

A Final Word About Weighing Luggage

Weighing luggage before arriving at the airport is crucial. Not only will it save you time and give you peace of mind, but it’ll also make the entire airport experience that much smoother. 

Showing up to the airport with properly packed bags that meet the airline’s weight requirements makes boarding a breeze. Dealing with the hassle of last-minute repacking, or paying excessive fees for additional weight is time-consuming, stressful, and can be downright embarrassing in a crowded airport.

Avoid the headache of delayed boarding, or even worse, missing your flight by learning how to weigh luggage without a scale. That way, you can stay focused on the trip and enjoy yourself to the fullest.

Do you have a trick or two concerning how to weigh luggage without a scale? If so, we’d love for you to share with our audience in the comments section below.