I noticed in August 2012 that on my Avios award flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles, my boarding pass printed with “Priority AAccess,” granting me priority security and priority boarding.
This (unintended?) benefit of British Airways Avios awards on American Airlines flights is still alive. I flew Los Angeles to Honolulu today for 12,500 Avios and $2.50, and I again had “Priority AAccess” printed on my boarding pass.
Today priority boarding was a lifesaver because I had two way overstuffed carry ons that weighed about 65 pounds total to put into overhead bins.
I wouldn’t pay much extra for Priority AAccess, but it is a nice free throw in on what is already an incredible value award.
For other top values to get to Hawaii, see The Cheapest Ways to Get to Hawaii.
The only other thing of note on my trip was that I had two potential checked bags–one that weighed 53 pounds and another that was 65 linear inches.
In the past, I’ve gotten a little bit of a pass for bags slightly over 50 pounds, so I wasn’t worried about that one. Worst case scenario, I pull something out for a carry on.
The box that was 65 linear inches worried me though because American Airlines charges $200 extra for checked bags more than 62 linear inches.
@milevalue It's $200 for a bag 63" to 126", in addition to the checked bag fee, Scott. Let us know if you need any more info.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) October 21, 2013
FedEx quoted me $115 to ship the box, but if American enforced its baggage rules, I’d have to pay $235 ($35 for a second checked bag plus $200 for an oversized bag) for the box.
I tried to estimate the chances of the $200 fee being imposed. I wondered whether they would be lower if I tried to check it with a Sky Cap while I held a $20 bill in my hand.
In the end, I figured there was more than a 50% chance of being charged the fee, so my expected cost was cheaper by shipping the box.
But after checking the overweight bag with a SkyCap, I regretted my decision to ship the box. The SkyCap had no scale, presumably no tape measure, and walked away with my bag in such a way that it would have been very difficult to track me back down to collect $200.
What would you have done with my oversized box? (Note that I could not have used a smaller box.)