As someone who travels often (re: 15 business trips last year alone, plus personal)... I know the wrath the airline industry has brought upon us well. I can not say a bad word about my dear friend JetBlue who treats your luggage right (well at least the first bag). However....
Airlines are charging $50 to over $100 for your luggage to come on the plane with you. An idea first pioneered by the likes of cheap airlines (RyanAir, but what else do you want for a $20 round trip ticket) has now been taken up universally. These fees are just for the bag to be considered to go on the plane... god forbid you.... go... overweight.
With my upcoming big trip (and desire to not spend money stupidly) I have been trying to plan my luggage out craftily (I am flying Virgin Atlantic so I will be playing by their rules)
1) Large suitcase with 50lbs- Free
2) Golf clubs with all my shoes 50lbs- Free
3) Carry on bag 23lbs- Free
4) Large purse with stuff- Free
5)Rugby bag packed to the brim 50lbs- $48
6) Steamer case packed lightly 50lbs- $112
Now you will notice that I have to obey strict weight rules.. or you get slapped with $100 extra fee. Once upon a time I used to stand on a scale, then stand on it holding the bag, then do the math (there is that chemistry degree working!). But then I decided to make a magical $10 investment:
Evil Airlines... Meet my friend... no more will you take advantage of me when I am already at the airport! Your check in people will be amazed at my exactly 50lb bags. And due to the money I save I can have an extra cocktail after waiting in the hour long security lines...