In days not too long ago, bringing along a few extra bags when you flew to Miami was not a big deal, and most airlines charged very little if anything to check in a few bags for each person who had a ticket. Nowadays, however, that trend is definitely changing, and most airlines are charging as much for every little 'extra' that was once considered standard - as they possibly can. The baggage fee increase amounted to an additional $1.5 billion dollars in 2008, which has caused other airlines that had not originally participated in charging flyers these additional fees to follow suit. Learning to avoid baggage fees, or at least reduce the amount of fees that you pay for checking your bags - is important to making sure that your flight to Miami is as cheap as possible.
Before you book your ticket to Miami, keep in mind that the airline that you fly with may charge differently than others. U.S. Airways, for example, charges a $15 fee for your first bag if you check your bag in advance online or $20 for your first bag if you don't pay in advance for this service. Alaska Airlines charges $15 for your first checked bag and $25 for the second. Southwest Airlines doesn't charge for checking up to two bags, and Jet Blue Airways does not charge for the first bag checked. Perhaps reducing the cost of your ticket and finding the cheapest flight to Miami involves scouting ticket prices with the latter two airlines first - since they realize the obvious - that all travelers will carry some luggage and they don't penalize you as badly as other airlines for doing what is only natural.
You should also pack smarter in order to make sure that the cheap Miami flight that you are planning doesn't end up costing you more. Bring less baggage with you when you travel, and understand the guidelines for the airline that you will be using when packing. It also pays to weight your bags before you leave home so that you are not over the weight limit for both traditional luggage and carry-on bags.
And speaking of your carry-on bag, you need to cleverly pack it with as much as you possibly can. Most airlines have little to say about the bag that you bring on the plane with you, as long as it is standard sized and will fit in the overhead compartment. Choose a soft-sided bag that will stretch to capacity in order to accommodate the most travel essentials.
If you are a frequent flyer, a flyer with gold member status with a particular airline, a passenger in first class, or a member of the U.S. military, you may be exempt from paying baggage fees. If you fall under any of these categories, be sure to let the airline know when you check in at the gate. You can avoid excess baggage fees on your trip home if you package all of your purchases and souvenirs and ship them via the U.S. Mail, FedEx, or UPS.
These tips and tricks can help you save money on your Miami cheap flight so that you'll have more to spend when you get to your destination.