So You Wanna Check Your Bag . . .
Uh-oh … Amtrak has announced that as of today there’s going to be something new regarding their baggage policy:
They’re going to start enforcing it!
But no need to panic. Unless you’re taking almost everything you own, you don’t have to worry … Amtrak’s baggage policy is that generous. Basically, whether you travel in coach or in a sleeper, you can take 250 pounds of luggage at no cost. That’s right … two hundred fifty pounds! You can check two bags at no charge (max of 50 pounds each), you can carry on two 50-pound bags and you can also carry on two small bags as long as they weigh no more than 25 pounds each.
And, as they say on TV, But wait! There’s more! You can also check two additional bags—weighing no more than 50 pounds apiece—for which there will be a charge of 20 bucks each. They’ll ride up front in the baggage car.
In other words, a ticketed Amtrak passenger can take 250 pounds of luggage for a total cost of just $40. And that’s for each ticketed passenger. A family of four could probably transport all their worldly belongings!
The truth is, because I travel light—just one bag that fits in the overhead bin on the plane and a small bag that goes under the seat in front of me—Amtrak’s baggage policy has been of no consequence to me. In fact, I had to go to their web site and look it up.
But, to make a comparison, I did look up American Airlines’ policy for checked baggage. They too, have a 50-pound limit per bag and, unless you’re flying first or business class, or have major status in their Aadvantage program, you’ll really get hammered for checked bags: $25 for the first one, $35 for the second one, then—Wow!—$150 for the third bag and $200 for the fourth one.
And permit me a parting shot: when you travel by Amtrak, no one goes poking through your baggage to make sure there isn’t more than three ounces liquid in that bottle of after shave lotion in your toiletry kit.