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off topic: airplane baggage

I don't know, I travel a lot and just pay the the excess baggage  
charges. It's faster than freight and cheaper than a music moving  
company like soundmoves (their minimums are around $1000).

here's what I check in:
1) cello in flight case, huge!
2) 9space rack in TV box
3) large suitcase for pedals, extras + merch
4) small suitcase for personal stuff (i'll carry this on if they let me)

that's 4 items and 3 of them are heavy and oversize. the amount i'm  
charged varies depending on the airline and the person working the  
desk. if a piece is over 32kg they can refuse to take it. i had to  
redistribute items once to make each piece under 32. also, if you're  
on one of those little regional planes (puddle jumpers i call them),  
the CRJ , they can refuse if the plane is full. i got a flight to  
montreal from NYC and had to wait for an emptier flight in order for  
them to take the gear.

of all the airlines, jetblue and alaska always seem the most  
accomodating. virgin is the most restrictive. if i can i try to put  
my personal stuff in a carry on, so i only check 3 bags. but virgin's  
carryon restrictions are 6kg!!

and, for reference, this is what i paid under different airlines in  
the last two months:

jetblue: $100 (always the same when they charge me. once they didn't)
alaska: $50 (also always the same)
virgin atlantic to the UK: $140
virgin from the UK: 180 pounds (ouch!)
british airways to the UK: $140
british airways from the UK: 90 pounds
united: $125

so yes, it adds up. but given what i'm checking in i think it's  
pretty reasonable!!