Avoid Overweight Baggage Fees when you Book Flights to & from Johannesburg

You have booked your cheap flights from Johannesburg and you’re getting ready to go on the trip of a lifetime. Chances are, the trip of a lifetime is also costing you a portion of your life savings too.

You arrive at the airport and finally check in…but, the check-in consultant says the dreaded words,” you are overweight”. Banish the thoughts of guilt of that last boerie roll or koeksister – she’s referring to your luggage and we all know only too well that excess baggage costs money! Unless you are willing to pull a few things out of your case and leave them behind, you’re just going to have to cough up the excess baggage fee.

Of course, there are a few travel hacks that can help you to pack lighter and avoid those dreaded excess baggage fees, and we aren’t talking about the embarrassing kind where you consider wearing two outfits at once. We have found a couple of really helpful packing tips which we highlight below, before we take a look at the overweight baggage penalties and costs imposed by local airlines on Domestic flights in South Africa.

  • Know your limitations. Before you pack, make sure that you check exactly how many pieces of luggage you are allowed to check in on the airline you have chosen, as well as what the max dimensions can be and what the max weight limits are. Also check how many items of hand luggage you are allowed to carry on board, along with accessories such as a laptop or nappy bag. Some of your main luggage can make it onto the plane as “hand luggage”.
  • Weigh your luggage before you leave the house. While you can always spend a few hundred rand on luggage scales at various outlets, you can just as easily weigh your bags at home on the bathroom scale. Weigh yourself first, step off the scale and then step back on while holding your luggage. You can then determine the weight of your bags.
  • Downscale on cosmetics. A jam-packed toiletry bag can add a great deal of excess weight to your luggage. Only carry mini versions of your toiletries. One mini shampoo, one mini conditioner, soap bar instead of shower gel, mini toothpaste, mini deodorant and so on. Take just enough for the trip and you can avoid paying hundreds of excess rand in baggage fees.
  • Pack light. Do a bit of research into the weather before you go on a trip. If it’s going to be mostly warm, you can get away with just one or two jerseys and no bulky jackets. Maybe you only need one pair of closed shoes and one pair of slops instead of a pair for each day. You can also save on space by rolling your clothes up instead of laying them out. If you are going on a long trip, consider visiting a laundromat to clean clothes instead of packing a new outfit for each and every day –it’s probably going to cost you less.
  • If you have to be overweight, pay online. Many airlines offer a discounted rate on excess baggage if you pay before you fly rather than at the check in point.

If you are booking cheap flights from or to Johannesburg, you will probably take a domestic flight with one of our leading local airlines. Here is some input on what to expect from each in terms of excess baggage fees and penalties (please note that the prices below are correct at time of publication in June 2018).

South African Airways

SAA allows passengers to check in 3 pieces of luggage no more than 23kg each. Even with excess baggage charges, no bag may exceed 32kg max. Travelers are charged R292.55 per extra bag in economy class and R393.42 per extra bag in business class.


Kulua allows passengers to check in 1 piece of luggage no more than 20kg and 1 piece of hand luggage no more than 7kg. Any additional baggage is charged at R320 if bought online or via the Kulula call centre on 0861 KULULA (585852). This must be done 2 hours prior to departure. Extra baggage checked-in at the airport, will be charged at R415 per additional bag.


Mango airlines allows passengers to check in 1 piece of luggage weighing no more than 23kg and hand luggage no more than 7kg. While excess luggage is allowed at a set rate of R30 per extra kg, no bag may weigh more than 32kg.

British Airways

Passengers on British Airways flights are allowed to check in 1 piece of luggage up to 23kg (and no more than a max of 32kg) and 1 piece of hand luggage up to 7kg. Additional baggage can be purchased online on www.ba.com under the “manage my booking” area.

Book Flights from Johannesburg & Avoid Excess Baggage Fees
When making use of our convenient flight search feature to book flights from or to Johannesburg, make sure that you investigate the baggage limitations as well as the excess penalties and costs.

Happy travels!

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