These clever travel jackets will help you avoid new airline baggage fees

travel jacket

If you’re flying somewhere soon, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news: Several airlines have raised their luggage fees. The good news: You can avoid new airline baggage fees — by wearing the right travel jacket.

That’s right, a travel jacket.

How a travel jacket can help you save money

Consider what will happen when Linh Tran boards a flight this fall. Tran, an entrepreneur from Atlanta, packs one less bag thanks to his mid-weight travel jacket made by Scottevest.

“On a multi-week trip, I can fly with only a carry-on and what I’m wearing on my body,” he says.

With fall just around the corner, a lot of air travelers are asking themselves: How do I avoid new airline baggage fees? The latest lightweight and midweight jackets, ideal for the cooler weather, offer a way to circumvent the airline industry’s latest money grab.

And it’s a big money grab, at least according to the readers of my consumer advocacy site. Late last year, the major airlines raised their baggage fees to $30 for the first checked bag. It’s just a matter of time before they go higher. All the more reason to read the fine print before you get on a plane.

So which travel jackets can help you avoid new airline baggage fees?

Scottevest

Tran’s favorite Scottevest model is the Tropiformer, a lightweight jacket that can fold into a carrying case in your back pocket. The body and sleeves are made of breathable and water-resistant fabric. When you remove the sleeves, the back of the vest is a fine mesh.

“I know where everything goes,” he says. “I specifically carry an iPhone, iPad, wireless earphones, passport, cash, ID, extra batteries, and charging cables every time I step on the plane, in the exact same location on my Scottevest gear. Sometimes I even put my laptop in it.”

No kidding. The travel jacket holds his laptop.

Janis Clark, who co-owns a travel company called Friends on the Fly, says her RFID Travel Vest saves more than luggage fees. It saves her time, too — particularly getting through the TSA screening area.

“Now, instead of fumbling in the line while impatient travelers watch, we remove our loaded Scottevests, blithely place them in the bin and rock our way through security — quickly, easily, unhampered – unless we’re slowed down by that unvested person in front of us who’s still fumbling,” she says.

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer has a travel-specific line called Travex that might allow you to avoid new airline baggage fees, too. The mid-weight Atlas Stretch Hooded Jacket is all about the pockets — all eight of them. They’re made with Eddie Bauer’s exclusive TripZip pocket to secure your travel essentials. The material has two-way stretch qualities for maximum mobility and comfort.

“It’s my go-to travel day jacket,” says photographer Brendan van Son. “It has pocket space to stuff my phone, passport, boarding passes, train tickets, or whatever I need. And, it’s versatile. In travel, there’s nothing quite as important as versatility.”

The Eddie Bauer Atlas Stretch Hooded Jacket is for travelers who prefer a more traditional jacket but want generous pockets and improved performance. An Eddie Bauer representative told me the Atlas can reduce luggage by eliminating the need for multiple jackets, thanks to its flexibility.

Mammut

Mammut’s new Seon Coat is a three-in-one multifunctional coat with a removable synthetic-fiber jacket and is also billed as a way to avoid new airline baggage fees. This is the travel jacket you bring for serious weather. The coat’s outer jacket relies on a three-layer Gore-Tex material that’s suitable for heavy rain. Synthetic Ajungilak filling keeps you warm when you are strolling through the city on cold days. You can adjust the coat as needed with the detachable hood that doubles as a pillow. The manufacturer modestly calls this “an organized person’s dream coat.” The Seon has pockets that can carry a day’s worth of luggage, maybe a weekend if you’re a creative packer. And that’s probably enough to foil the airline luggage gods.

Sitka

Sitka’s Lowland Jacket specially designed for travelers, is also worth a look if you want to avoid new airline baggage fees. Like all of the jackets I’ve reviewed here, it looks like a regular jacket. But the Lowland Jacket offers the avid traveler lightweight durability, warmth, and weather resistance with clean and simple style — and it delivers. The company incorporated designs from its hunting line into these new jackets, adding an internal zippered pocket, a zippered chest pocket, and zippered hand pockets. And you know what all those pockets mean, don’t you? More room for you to take what would have otherwise gone into your luggage (and for which you would have paid dearly).

Coalatree

For travelers, the Coalatree Camper Hooded Jacket also offers a solution for anyone who wants to cut their carry-on. Although it’s a puffy jacket, it’s lightweight and it retains 93% of warmth when wet. It also has six thoughtfully designed pockets for gloves, headphones, passports, plus interior side pouch for larger items. It’s hypoallergenic and naturally allergen-free, and also made with recycled materials. The Camper Hooded Jacket is also water and spill resistant, so you don’t have to worry about those rushed coffee-spilling-filled travel mornings.

What travel jackets should really do

Of course, jackets were not really meant to be used to avoid new airline baggage fees. We should choose them for comfort and aesthetics, not capacity to carry contraband onto the plane. The fact that the airline industry is making passengers use jackets in this way says a lot about the state of air travel in 2019. And it’s not positive.

Oddly, the airline that started all of this, JetBlue Airways, suggests passengers should be grateful for its higher luggage fees. After all, airlines didn’t raise their fares. But the passengers who are buying travel jackets this fall with the idea of packing fewer bags don’t seem thankful for their predicament.

I don’t know anyone who is.

Posted in Smart Consumer Tagged , , ,

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirportParkingReservations.com

With nearly 20 years in the industry, over 128 airport covered in the U.S. and Canada, and over 1,000 Hotel and Parking Partners-we provide travelers the best options on how to get to the airport when flying. Whether you want to; drive yourself and park near an Airport (Airport Parking), stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel and leave your car (Hotel and Parking Package), or take a shared Shuttle/Private Car/Limo to the Airport- we got you covered. The best deals can be found online, and booking a reservation has never been easier. You can explore all of our options by visiting us at AirportParkingReservations.com, ParkSleepFly.com, AirportParking.com, and ShuttleFinder.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

Underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by G1G.com

Since its inception over three decades ago, G1G has continued to revolutionize the travel insurance industry by being the only aggregator to operate a customer portal, placing all of the user's primary needs in one place. We have continued to innovate and disrupt the market by reimagining the way travel insurance can be delivered to the end user in ways no competition can. Simply put, no one knows the market as well as its founders and no one else shares G1G values and mission.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.